Monday's Pick-me-up

Yes, you've seen this gentleman before, but abs like that deserve a second showing!

This week the kids are out of school and I'm taking a partial vacation of sorts. I may or may not be back for Wednesday's posts. I will be out of town all next weekend but will see you again on Monday.

Come on, you know you'll miss me. : )

Interview with JA Saare

Today I have the awesome JA Saare in the hot seat. Jaime is celebrating her newest release Dead Undead or Somewhere in Between. So grab a cup of coffee, sit down and get to know Jaime a little better.

How would you describe your writing style?
That’s a tough one. ;-) I would say that my writing is dark and gritty but contains romance, humor, and snark. As much as I love writing romance, I also love horror, blood, and carnage, so that usually plays a role in what I write.

What inspired you to start writing?
In the beginning it was a way to write something in which the werewolf was the sexy hero and the vampire, while beautiful, was the dangerous thing you didn’t want to cross at night. I’d had an idea for a story years ago but never sat down and put it to paper, so I had a general idea of what I wanted to create. What I didn’t know was that it would take on a life of its own and that I wouldn’t be able to stop.

Crimson Moon is one of those stories that created an itch I was unable to scratch. I figured once I was done, that was it. There was never any goal or plan to write more. It was only after I completed it that I started thinking about new stories, characters, and worlds

What is the best piece of advice on writing you’ve ever received?
When it stops being fun, stop, reevaluate, and get back in the groove. I’ve learned that as much as I love to write, promotion is a chore. When you are published you face things like promo, loops, chats, edits…the list goes on and on. During those times, the muse sometimes clams up and writing becomes a chore that you resent.

I’ve found that by allowing myself some space to write, lowering the expectations and having genuine fun, I can hear the voices of the characters better, and in some cases, advance the story I’m creating in ways I never would have conceived of otherwise.

That is so true and something I have to remind myself of often. What kind of goals to you set for yourself when writing? Word count? Page count?
I try not to focus on those things when I write. I just sit down, allow myself to let go, and write what comes. When I started, I had this strange compulsion to have “so many pages per chapter” but even then, I never worried about word count (aside from the finished product. Silly me thought everything had to be at least 90k+).

Who knows, maybe I should have one! I might speed things along.

Not always. : ) Do you listen to music while you write?
Always, always, always. I can’t write without it. Depending on what I’m working on, the music will change, but it’s always there.

Where were you when you heard your first book was contracted. What did you do?
My first contract experience might be different than most. The Wild Rose Press expressed an interest in my first story, Crimson Moon, but told me straight-up they wanted a sex scene. I was flattered they wanted the story, but I was also torn.

It took me a couple of months to come up with a compromise that worked for the story and I sent it in. Within a week, I got the acceptance email. It was an exciting time, but also stressful. I don’t know if it’s ever taken me that long to do a revision!

That first revision letter is a killer. Tell us about your newest release.
My newest release is Dead, Undead, or Somewhere in Between, a dark urban fantasy with a bit of romance. It’s told through the voice of Rhiannon, a tough-as-nails bartender working in a gentleman’s club in New York. Although she can see the spirits of the deceased, including the “twice dead” -- vampires who have died -- it isn’t an ability she wants or enjoys.

After a string of vampire disappearances in the area brings Disco -- a prominent vampire with a missing family member of his own -- to her bar, she is forced to start investigating the circumstances that have left them permanently dead, minus their hearts.

It’s a story that allowed me to embrace my dark and slightly macabre side, and the memory of writing it will always be a fond one.

And you know I loved it. Do you have anything in the works?
I have two releases coming in June (and possibly beginning of July depending on scheduling). The first is Crimson Moon, the first story in a trilogy, which will release at The Wild Rose Press on June 25th. The second, Crimson Sunrise, is currently under submission, so we’ll see how it goes. My second release, Eternity and a Day, is a paranormal/fantasy erotic romance and the first in a series which will release at Loose Id.

As for writing, I’m trying to wrap up The Renfield Syndrome (sequel to Dead), Omega Mine (an erotic paranormal romance), Dark Hunger on a Killing Moon (story following Eternity and a Day), and my newest urban fantasy, The Company of Wolves.

You know how it goes -- the muse is always busy, busy, busy!

That's a good thing. Who is your favorite character in your novels?
That would be Rhiannon, hands down. She’s the one character I relate to most and is so loud I can’t help but hear her. I can honestly say she is a joy to write, even when she’s at her worst.

If you could have lunch with one writer, who would it be?
One writer?? But there are so many great ones I’ve met along the way.

I suppose if I could pick one it would be Joey W. Hill. I’m sure people are tired of hearing me praise her glory, but she writes emotional scenes like no other. When I open one of her books, I know my heart is about to get ripped out, piece by piece, but take comfort in knowing in the end it will be put back together again.

I’d love to know about her process, how ideas develop in her mind, and how she manages to create such vivid characters. She’s amazing.

Where can we find you?
You can always find me on my blog: , my website , or on Twitter

Okay, now for some personal questions.

Have you ever had a one-night stand?
That would be a yes. Back in my wild and crazy days I took the plunge with this sexy man who was visiting from South Africa. I met him in a dance club I was at with some friends. We flirted, chatted a bit, and…well, you do the math! The accent was the proverbial nail in the coffin, but it didn’t hurt that he was crazy sexy.

Crazy sexy is always good. ; )What is the craziest or most unusual place you’ve had sex?
I can’t believe I’m telling you this, but… okay, when I was eighteen and dating my high school sweetheart, we got it on in a public pool while on spring break in Florida. We were in the corner, in plain sight of everyone, which made it all the more devious and exciting.

Ah the public pool. That is daring. What would you consider a romantic date?
Before I got married I’d say a game of pool, a few drinks, and a walk in the park. Now I’m just grateful to get dinner, a movie, and a night alone with my husband!

If you could take a date anywhere in the world, where would it be?
Since my hubs is an Italian, I’d love to take him for dinner in Italy!

I love Italy. Best olive oil in the world. What is the best pick-up line someone has ever tried on you? Did it work?
Once someone told me, “Your legs must be tired, because you’ve been running through my mind all night.

No, it didn’t work. *laughs*

What is your favorite thing to eat?
It’s not a food but I’m addicted to Sam’s Choice Cola. ;-)

What is your favorite color?

What is your favorite time of day?
After dark, definitely.

That doesn't suprise me. What is your favorite flower?
The African violet.

What is your favorite season?
The fall.

I love the fall too. The colors especially. If you could have any car, which would it be?
A 1969 Oldsmobile 442 big block engine, painted cherry red with black leather bucket seats.

Who is your favorite actor?

James McAvoy

Who is your favorite actress?
Sarah Michelle Gellar (yes, I was and remain a Buffy fan).
Who is your favorite band or singer?
I’m pretty sure I’ve said this before somewhere. ;-) That would be Trent Reznor AKA Nine Inch Nails.

What is your favorite song?
I can’t name just one, I just can’t! ;)

What is a movie you could watch over and over?
I’ve seen Gone With The Wind over two dozen times, so I’d have to say that’s a safe bet.

What is your favorite non-alcoholic drink?
Sam’s Choice Cola, baby. ; )

What is your favorite alcoholic drink?
Wood Chuck Apple Cider on tap. So yummy!

One bad corpse can ruin your whole day. No one knows that better than Rhiannon Murphy. She’s left behind the flash and sass of Miami for the no-nonsense groove of New York City, eager for a clean slate and a fresh start. A bartender by trade, a loud mouth by choice, and a necromancer by chance; she’s managed to keep her nifty talent hidden from those around her – until now.
The deliciously good-looking vampire Disco knows her secret, and when he strolls into her bar to solicit help investigating the mysterious disappearances of his kind from the city, she discovers he’s not the kind of person that appreciates the significance of the word no.
But in a world where vampires peddle their blood as the latest and greatest drug of choice, it’s only a matter of time before the next big thing hits the market. Someone or something is killing vampires to steal their hearts, and unlike Rhiannon, this isn’t their first stroll around the undead block.

I took my time walking down Goose’s street. Brooklyn Heights was a nice area and relatively safe to wander on your own. It was quiet, a few people walking across the street in the opposite direction. I unwittingly drifted into Never-Never-Land, combining thoughts about my past, present, and future. Things didn’t turn out the way I thought, and I wasn’t sure how I’d reached this point. But now that I was here, I didn’t know what to do or what to expect.
I thought of Disco and that wrenching sensation of being torn in two overwhelmed me, something that happened each time I pictured his face or those heavenly golden blue eyes. I had never been so conflicted in my life. Normally I knew exactly where I stood in situations, but not so much anymore. The black and white areas that governed my decisions just took on a huge middle ground of grey.
My daftness proved to be my undoing yet again. I thwacked into an older woman with her mixed breed ankle biter, our shoulders knocking each other off course. I took the "watch where the fuck you’re going" in stride, nodding and muttering a half-assed apology, eager to get downwind of the Icy Hot wafting off her body and into my nose.
I closed my eyes and groaned when I heard chuckling. Disco was gentleman enough to laugh out loud instead of startling the piss out of me, but it didn’t erase the fact he was laughing. Being humiliated always made me cranky.
“You do have a short attention span,” he teased, and I glanced up.
He was waiting on the stairs, eyes sparkling in amusement. Dear God, would I always find ways to look like an asshole in his presence?
I was grateful I’d decided to make the extra effort with my appearance because he had too. He was dressed in his color of choice, but the shirt was a nice long sleeve button down, the collar open around his throat. His dress slacks were a matching black and his trench coat was gone. He’d also left his honey blond hair unkempt and I worried he’d read my mind the night I thought about just how amazing it made him look.
“Laugh it up,” I sighed.
He was busy taking me in, starting at my feet and working his way up. He approved of my change of attire and wanted me to know it, taking his time and allowing his eyes to linger. I shifted my face away, annoyed by my awkwardness.
“You look delectable.” He used his uncanny speed to close the distance between us. I didn’t have time to contain a quiet gasp. My face jolted upward from his shirt to his face. Meeting his eyes, I was utterly transfixed by the shifting colors. “I’m going to buy an entire wardrobe consisting of things just like this for you.”
How do you respond to a remark like that? I had no clue, and at the present moment, I didn’t care. His close proximity made me remember that heat I experienced on the couch in his foyer, and this time I couldn’t completely fault the blood. I was attracted to Disco whether I wanted to be or not, and he knew it. The smart thing to do would have been to back away, but I didn’t want to. That grey area expanded, melding black and white together until there was no concept of right or wrong.

Four Stars from Whipped Cream!

Yes, that's right and good timing. Even though I've been writing and editing up a storm, because of, well, a lot of things, it feels a little like I'm stalled.

This review from LASR is a needed ray of sunshine. : )

Book ReviewL Dead, Undead, or Somewhere in Between

It’s always difficult to begin reading a book written by someone you know and like, so when I picked up Dead, Undead or Somewhere in Between, (from now on referred to as DUSB because although I love the title, I'm really, really lazy.) I was a little nervous. I didn’t need to be.

From the first line, I was drawn in to JA Saare’s world. But what stood out the most to me was the characterization. Jaime writes complex, engaging and real people. Even now, 2 weeks after reading the book, I find myself thinking of Rhiannon and Disco.

I know the second book is being written and I’m sending good vibes to Jaime in the hopes everything turns out okay. I know she’s going to torture them like any good writer will, but I want these two to find happiness. That’s saying a lot.

The second thing was the ending. DUSB did not end with a typical HEA and I applaud both the author and the publisher for that. It did end with a scene that made you want to pick up the next book and read to find out what happens next. In my mind, that makes this book a success.

And JA Saare will be in my hot seat this Friday so stop by and say hi!

One bad corpse can ruin your whole day.

No one knows that better than Rhiannon Murphy.
She left behind the flash and sass of Miami for the no-nonsense groove of New York City, eager for a clean slate and a fresh start. A bartender by trade, a loud mouth by choice, and a necromancer by chance; she managed to keep her nifty talent hidden from those around her—until now.

The deliciously good-looking vampire, Disco, knows her secret. When he strolls into her bar to solicit help investigating the mysterious disappearances of his kind from the city, Rhiannon discovers he’s not the kind of person that appreciates the significance of the word no.

But in a world where vampires peddle their blood as the latest and greatest drug of choice, it’s only a matter of time before the next big thing hits the market. Someone or something is killing vampires to steal their hearts, and unlike Rhiannon, this isn’t their first stroll around the undead block.

Monday's Pick-me-up

It's such a hard job, looking through all these pictures to decide which to showcase. : )

Just poking my head in

to let all of you know, I'm alive and well, just buried in edits.

Things may return to normal next week! : )

How is your day going?

Monday's Pick-me-up

No one could beat Brad in his prime. : )

True story: Sometimes when I write one of my male characters, I look for a 'picture' of him. Well, I found one of Brad and thought perfect. But as I kept writing, I realized I'd gotten in wrong. It just didn't fit. Even one of my critiquers said the character reminded her of Johnny Depp. So I gave in and made his blonde hair brown. : )

Another first

Today I'm hosting my first chat. Please stop by and say hi. I'd love to hear from you!

Interview with Lia Slater

Today I have the privilege of hosting the talented Lia Slater on my blog. Lia is celebrating her newest release: Off Limits. Grab a cup of coffee, you’re in for a treat.

How would you describe your writing style?

I like to think I write in deep point of view. I really try to drill into my characters’ heads and get to the bottom of things. Why are they the way they are and how is that going to affect them during the story? And how is the reader going to see them? If I can’t connect with them, then the reader won’t either.

I completely agree, if I don’t feel an emotional connect, I don’t expect my reader to. What inspired you to start writing?

Oh, just voices in my head that wouldn’t shut up. Seriously, I always had stories running through my mind and one day I decided to put one of them to paper. After that, I was hooked for life.

That’s funny, I was just attempting to explain to someone what it’s like to be a writer and I ended up saying it’s a bit like being insane. How did your friends/relatives react when you told them you wanted to be a writer?

They were happy for me. Of course, none of them are romance readers, but I’m hoping to convert them.

Good Luck. My family and friends aren’t big romance readers either. Most of them prefer horror. I don’t think I could sleep at night if I wrote that genre. What kind of goals to you set for yourself when writing? Word count? Page count?

I set outrageous, overwhelming word count goals that totally stress me out. I’m not kidding. It’s March and I’m WAY behind. Better get to work! I’m cracking my own whip.

Yes, get to work, we want more Lia Slater stories. Tell us about your newest release.

Off Limits is a “Cougar Club” Scarlet Rosette available from I fell in love with Austin and Kara (my hero and heroine) while writing this short story. They seemed to write the story themselves. And you know it’s a good sign when that happens.

Here is a blurb from Off Limits.

How does a woman who usually follows the straight and narrow end up handcuffed to a chair by her ex-husband’s younger brother, a wickedly delicious man who just happens to be a cop? And the star of her most forbidden fantasies. Kara Reynolds has spent the past thirty-eight years being a good girl, but there’s something about Austin that makes her want to be really bad. Now, she’s caught in a situation that could either humiliate her...or set her free.

I loved Off Limits. Do you have anything in the works?

Yes. I’m currently writing the third book in the Were Legends series. The first book, WereSlave, is available now from Ellora’s Cave. The second book, Were Seduction, is coming soon. I like to think of these as erotic fairytales. In a faraway land anything can happen. Especially if there are werewolves, witches and vampires involved.

So true! Who is your favorite character in your novels?

I always love the characters who are wreaking havoc in my mind at the moment. Right now those characters are Worth and Blanca from my third Were book. Love, love, love them!

If you could have lunch with one writer, who would it be?

Well, you, Lynne, of course. LOL! I’d love to meet and have lunch with all the authors I’ve gotten to know over the Net. I think that would be a blast.

Ah, that does sound fun, Lia. I’d love to have a huge party and invite all my Internet friends. We’d have to wear badges with our book covers or avatars so we’d know who was who. Where can we find you?

A couple of places:,,, and

Okay now for something a little more personal. Have you ever had a one-night stand?

Since I’m an erotic romance writer, I’d love to embellish and say YES! But, no, I haven’t. You can start yawning now. I’m more of a long-term kind of girl. Once you’ve got me, you’re stuck.

What is the best pick-up line someone has ever tried on you? Did it work?

I used to go out dancing quite a bit in my early twenties so a rush of cheesy lines just stumbled through my mind. LOL! The best? I don’t know. I met my husband in a bar back then and he did and said everything wrong including mispronounce my name. But he was so damn cute, I couldn’t resist. And he was a great kisser! I was hooked.

Oh, that’s sweet. What is your favorite thing to eat?

I’m on a diet right now so I’m trying not to think about greasy, cheesy, fried Mexican food. Sorry, gotta go wipe the drool from my mouth.

I need to get on that diet too! What is your favorite the of day?
Midday. It’s when my brain is at its peak.

What is your favorite season?

I love fall here in Colorado. The colors are breathtaking. Although we did seem to skip right over last fall and head right into winter. Not fun.

I love fall too, although right now, I’m enjoying spring! What is your favorite non-alcoholic drink?

I’m addicted to Diet Coke/Pepsi.

What is your favorite alcoholic drink?

Wine! Red wine for the most part. Right now I’m into Pinot Noir and Cab.
That’s it, we’re definitely having lunch. I love red wine. My favorite is Rioja, a Spanish wine that is very hard to find in California.

Thank you so much for sharing a little about yourself with us! And now to wet your whistle, here is an Off Limits excerpt:

Austin peeled open the top button to her jeans and unzipped. The zip seemed to echo throughout the generous living room. The only other sounds were her ragged breath and her pulse beating at her temples.

He slipped his fingers in the sides of her jeans. “Lift your ass, Kara. I’m going to make you forget all your worries.”

Holy shit. Like a robot obeying a command, she lifted her bottom, and he slid her jeans and panties down in one swoop, easily taking off her ankle socks and tennies in the process.

She shivered as the room-temperature air breezed against her skin. Exposed. She was exposed. And sitting on a hard chair in her ex-husband’s home. This was so unlike her.

What was she thinking?

Hell, she was thinking Austin was going to make her forget all her worries. She believed him. She trusted him. Like no other person in her life, she needed him.

“Ah, sugar.” His sultry green gaze swept over her, from her bare breasts, to the triangle of black hair covering her mound, to her rose painted toes.

She shook with both need and anxiety.

Finally, he met her eyes. “You’ve just shattered every fantasy I’ve ever had about you into a million pieces.”

“Is it that bad?” She wasn’t sure whether to be surprised that he’d fantasized about her or horrified that she’d mangled the fantasies.

“No, Kara.” He caressed her cheek and kissed her lips sweetly. “You’re that good. Don’t you know?”

Off Limits by Lia Slater

With a cover this hot, the inside of the book has a lot to live up to and Lia Slater did not disappoint. Off Limits reaches out and captures you from the first scene.

Not only are Austin and Kara interesting, well-rounded characters, Lia Slater structures the story in such a way the reader has a very real sense of their past, and future.

Off Limits is not only a cougar story--and you know I love those--it's a tale of forbidden love that Lia manages to make both tender and hot as hell.

To find out a bit more about Lia Slater, visit her blog or come back on Friday! She's in my hot seat.

For your reading enjoyment, here's a blurb of Off Limits:

How does a woman who usually follows the straight and narrow end up handcuffed to a chair by her ex-husband’s younger brother, a wickedly delicious man who just happens to be a cop? And the star of her most forbidden fantasies. Kara Reynolds has spent the past thirty-eight years being a good girl, but there’s something about Austin that makes her want to be really bad. Now, she’s caught in a situation that could either humiliate her...or set her free.

I'm in the spotlight

Two posts in one day! After you've picked yourself up off the floor... that's better, I have news.

All this week I'm in Melodee Aaron's Spotlight I'll be posting snippets on her yahoo group on and off all week and this Saturday, I'll be chatting.

If you know me you'll know I'm not as comfortable in the spotlight as some, so I'd love--read 'be forever grateful'--if you'd stop by and say hi and on Saturday, chat with me a bit. You know you want to. : )



An Award!

The last two awards I received, I totally spaced and didn't do anything--other than feel really, really touched. It's hard for me to believe that people actually read my blog, let alone like it. And I was and am honored, even if I suck at the whole remembering to post thing. : )

So when Kaily Hart told me I received this award, I knew, before I did anything else, I needed to jump on it.

And here I am. I need to list 10 things that make me happy. And you know, it's my belief that this is an excellent thing to do daily, especially on Mondays. So here goes:

1. Coffee. Coffee makes me happy. Waking up to already brewed coffee? Sigh. Thank the Lord above for programmable coffee makers and when I receive a Starbucks card, well, I'm a very happy girl.

2. Flowers. At this time of the year, I go out in my garden every morning, with a cup of coffee to warm my hands, and walk around looking at the new flowers. Today, the Japanese irises bloomed. They are so elegant and beautiful. The crocuses are done but the daffodils are still blooming away and so are the grape hyacinths and they look awesome together. I do this every day until winter.

3. Ladybugs. These little critters fly in every year to lay eggs on my plum tree. I love to take the kids out there and watch the eggs mature into ugly little bugs and the we start finding the cocoons and then voila! A tree full of ladybugs. I don't spray pesticides in my garden at all just to encourage these little guys to come back every year.

4. A clean house. I just can't relax in a dirty house. When the house is dirty, I'm tense. It sucks.

5. Cuddling. I love to cuddle. Thankfully most of my kids still cuddle with me.

6. My kids. Oh they drive me crazy on occasion, but they make me happy... of course they also stand in the way of #4.

7. Sunlight. Sometimes, when I'm feeling blue, I will just go stand in a ray of sunshine and close my eyes. Always makes me smile.

8. The ocean. I know they say that the ocean makes you feel good because of the increased amount of oxygen at the water's edge, but I think it's because the ocean is so big and constant (and constantly moving)... and I'm not. And that's okay. It's one of the main reasons I don't think I could leave California.

9. Baking. I love to bake. I love the smell of it, experimenting with recipes and ingredients... and quite frankly, I love eating it. Although I tend to give away as much as possible, or I'd be twice my size.

10. A good book. When I bring home books from a library, I imagine I act very much like a pirate with a chest of gold. The delicious anticipation. *Sigh* I love books.

I think you all now know why my dream job is to own a bookstore by the ocean where I would sell home-made, baked goodies and fresh, gourmet coffee and have a lot of writer events and book signings. (Because you all make me happy too!)

Well, that's it. Now to nominate 10 blogs that make me smile. Oh, this is going to be difficult because there are so many. These women make me happy, they're encouraging, challenging (when I need it)... these are the blogs I read first on my blog reader. I could say many, many more wonderful things about them but just go check out their blogs. In no order:

JA Saare
Cari Quinn
Kaily Hart
Lia Slater
Helen Hardt
Catherine Bybee
Jennifer Leeland
Mrs. Cecile Smutty Hussy (that's what she asks us to call her. Swear!)
Emma Lai
Maisey Yates

Here are the rules.

1. Copy the award image into a post
2. List 10 things that make you happy
3. Tag 10 bloggers who brighten your day.
4. Link to their blogs.
5. Notify the award recipients.
6. Award recipients link back to sender’s blog

And because I'm just a generous kind of girl, here's something else that makes me happy: Your Monday-pick-me-up.


Interview with Rosalie Stanton

The talented Rosalie Stanton has agree to sit on the hot seat for us today! Thank you Rosalie!

How would you describe your writing style?
Adaptable and identifiable. I definitely feel, and have been told, that there is a certain cadence to my writing, but I likewise feel the subject matter dictates the tone.

What inspired you to start writing?
I honestly don’t remember. It just seems I’ve always written in one way or another. When I was little, my grandparents owned a printing company and had a display of scratch pads along the front display window. I would take scratch pads and draw out stories, make up characters, and so on. My first attempt at a novel came when I was about twelve years old, though I remember writing shorter stories well before that. I’ve just always been a writer.

How did your friends/relatives react when you told them you wanted to be a writer?
Total and complete lack of surprise, as well as undying support. Love of writing runs in the family. My aunt, Pamela Smith Hill, is an acclaimed author of YA fiction.

Undying support is something to be treasured. What is the best piece of advice on writing you’ve ever received?
When I was in the sixth grade, I began attending “writer’s camp,” which was a 4 day retreat aimed at young aspiring writers and hosted by one of our local colleges. We had a series of authors host workshops, and each author contributed advice as well as personal accounts that helped me develop my writing skills. It was there that I first learned the term “head-hop,” and where I was likewise told “there’s no such thing as writer’s block.”
However, I believe the most important advice I received was not to force something that won’t come. If you force it, you won’t like the result. Take a breather: go for a walk, read a book, see a movie, and if your muse is kind, it will return with a vengeance. If not, try to work on something else to get the creative juices flowing.

Wow, you really had a head start. I didn’t learn that… until much later. : ) What kind of goals to you set for yourself when writing? Word count? Page count?
My goals typical vary from project to project. In the past, I’ve sat down and said, “All right. We’ll get this scene done and that’s the ballgame.” That doesn’t always turn out as planned, as characters have a tendency to dictate where they want a story to go with little regard for you as the storyteller. Recently, I’ve started aiming for word count, as I feel those goals are more attainable. Novelist Graham Greene is said to have written only 500 words a day, but with that daily goal, he published more than 30 books.

Do you listen to music while you write? It depends. Sometimes music can distract me, as I have a tendency to sing along. However, I do enjoy putting in classical music or opera whenever I’m writing something really intense. It seems to set the mental mood.

Where were you when you heard your first book was contracted. What did you do? My husband and I live across the street from my best friend, and I was sitting on her couch surfing my email when I received the letter from Loose Id. I remember a dull buzzing in my ears and heat on my face, and the words, “Oh my God, oh my God,” on my lips. My friend asked me what was wrong, and I launched upright and began bouncing all over the room. I then tried to call my husband, but he didn’t pick up the phone, so I bolted out the door and ran across the street to tell him. I was…umm…a little excited.

I love it. Tell us about your newest release. I have two at the moment. Possession served as the antidote for life, to be quite honest. I like to write stories with heart and heat, sometimes with heat a bit more favored. Possession is a good example.
My first novel length work, Ripples Through Time, will be released on March 4. It’s a story I wrote a few years ago while studying Hamlet in school; I decided to try the “play within a play” theme in my own writing, so really, it’s two stories in one. I really, really enjoyed piecing the plot together, and I hope readers will feel the same way.

I am absolutely sure they will. Do you have anything in the works? Yes, actually, and I get more excited about it by the minute. I have a solid outline now and the first chapter has been written. It’s another paranormal romance and one I might turn into a series. We’ll see!

Do you write full time or part time? I wish I had the luxury of writing full time. By day, I’m a check-cashing, deposit-making, loan-taking machine.

Who is your favorite character in your novels? It tends to revolve around whatever character I’m writing. Right now, my favorite character is my hero in the new work I mentioned. Later, it might be the heroine. If I’m in their head, I tend to side with them.

If you could have lunch with one writer, who would it be? Jane Austen.

Now that would be an interesting lunch! What is your favorite part of being a romance writer? I get to fall in love over and over again. Who wouldn’t like that?

That’s one of my favorite parts too! Least favorite? I think there is a perception among many that writing romance makes you less legitimate of an author, in a way. However, this isn’t a remark on writing romance, it’s a remark on dumb people.

I’m smiling. You know I share your sentiments. Okay, if you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be and why? I don’t know. All of my favorite vacation spots are my favorite vacation spots because they involve a break from my real life. My real life has bills, work, grocery lists, medical expenses, deadlines, and family drama. I have places I love to go but likewise would never want to live because bringing my life there would ruin the charm.
Having said that, I’m a liberal in a red-state, so I think I’d be happier on one of the coasts.

Now for something a little more personal. Have you ever had a one-night stand? I’m not that adventurous. I have a vivid imagination, but not much in the way of that sort of experience. My husband is the only man I’ve been with and I wouldn’t change that for anything.

That is something to be treasured. What is the craziest or most unusual place you’ve had sex with your husband? Unfortunately, all my sexual experiences have been rather tame…albeit, I do have funny stories. I suppose the appropriate answer to this question would be on my mother-in-law’s couch. This was before my husband and I were married; his mom and step-dad were out of town and we decided to hijack their house to watch an HBO special. Things got heavy…and then Mom came home. I was mortified.

What would you consider a romantic date? I’m not sure. I know the conventions and clichés, but I enjoy subtler things. For our anniversary, my husband and I went out of town to a local tourist trap and spent the day together, walking around the strip and holding hands and choosing where to go for dinner. Then later, yes, there was some hot-tub action, but it was perfect.

That sounds so romantic to me. If you could take a date anywhere in the world, where would it be? Oh, Natchez, Mississippi. Without a doubt.

What is the best pick-up line someone has ever tried on you? Did it work?
I think this falls into the “so bad it’s good” category. I was picking up a prescription when a man came up to me and said, “You’re so pretty!” At first, I blushed and said thank you, but he wasn’t finished. He said it several times, asked my name, and what-have-you. Then he asked if I was seeing anyone. When I confirmed I was, he said, “Would you like another boyfriend?” I told him the one was a handful, and he said, “I bet I’d be a bigger handful, if you catch my drift.”

I almost choked on my coffee. That’s funny. I take it the line didn’t work. What is your thing to eat? Bread pudding. Southern style. No raisins

I’ve never had bread pudding. Maybe I should try it. I’ve put you through the wringer long enough. Here are some simple questions: What is your favorite color? Red.

What is your favorite time of day? When I get off work. Must be honest.

What is your favorite flower? Magnolia

Spoken like a true southern belle. What is your favorite season? Spring and autumn are pretty evenly tied for this one, but autumn marks the beginning of the holidays, and I love the holidays.

If you could have any car, which would it be? One that works well without breaking down every fifty miles. My current car doesn’t meet this description.

Who is your favorite actor? I have several, but probably Kevin Spacey.

Who is your favorite actress? I know this is going to sound crazy, but I love Megan Mullally from Will and Grace. She’s hysterical, she’s gorgeous, and she’s not size zero. I love her.

It doesn’t sound crazy. I’m all for actresses who aren’t size zero. Who is your favorite band or singer? I love the Beatles. Always have, always will. It’s a sickness in my family.

What is your favorite song? Depends on the moment, to be quite honest. Right now I’m fond of the song “Brain Damage” by Pink Floyd.

What is a movie you could watch over and over? Lili (1953). This movie captivates the crap out of me. I don’t know what it is.

I feel like that about Gigi. I’ve never seen Lili but I’ll look it up on Netflix. (could it be the similar names?) What is your favorite non-alcoholic drink? Diet coke.

What is your favorite alcoholic drink? Marco Negri.

Where can we find you?

Here is a blurb from Rosalie's newest release: Possession

Arianna is a demon hunter who isolates herself from society. Over the past few months she has become increasingly dependent on her uncertain alliance with Kade, a vampire informant who literally stepped out of the shadows and into her life.

On the night of a rumored attack from a group of demons, called Eros, who feed off passion for sustenance, Arianna meets with Kade to plan a counterattack before the demons can strike. However, upon retreating to Kade’s apartment for supplies, both Arianna and Kade are overwhelmed with a sudden rush of passion. Their bodies refuse to obey their minds, and before they can stop themselves, they are engaged in endless rounds of lovemaking. Lost to pleasure even as their minds fight sensation and each other, Kade surrenders to his love for Arianna, and tries to convince her he is what she’s needed all along.

Sometimes, possession is mutual.

More often than not, Arianna ignored the stirring of uneasiness that crept in her belly; it merely came with the package of being a single white female alone in one of New Orleans's shadier neighborhoods. While she could most definitely take care of herself, and had on more than one occasion, that didn't mean she enjoyed the solemn walk to the burned-out streetlight from the corner where her cab dropped her off. This terrain was more Kade's area, and truth be told, he likely didn't think twice before setting up the typical meet and greet. After all, vampires and other similar half-breeds didn't share the concerns of human females. Noise didn't scare, worn buildings didn't intimidate, and the knowledge that anyone could be lurking in the protection of a shadow barely blipped on the radar. Business as usual at the corner of MLK Boulevard and Simon Bolivar.
Perhaps Kade's carelessness wouldn't bother her so much if he acted as if he paid attention every now and then.
She hated demons. They always found a way to ruin her night.
“So,” Kade drawled, lighting up a smoke. “You wanna know about the Eros, do you?”
“Have I been talking to myself the last ten minutes?”
“Well, I wouldn't look at it that way.”
“Really? How would you look at it?”
He shrugged. “I thought we were catching up and all that.”
“Yeah. I'm out here to socialize.” Arianna rolled her eyes. The only thing she hated more than demons were vampires. They often didn't look favorably on demon hunters such as herself, which was why she relied upon Kade more often than not to keep an ear to the ground in the demon community. Kade appealed to the lowest sort of low: the vamps who would trade in their brother for a spot of cash. Granted, she never actually paid him; something propelled him to spill the goods to her regardless, always had for reasons she didn't understand. Only tonight, he wasn't as chatty as usual.
Tonight he just annoyed her. She had one question—one!—and he insisted on making their encounter a huge ordeal rather than a pit stop. The Eros would attack soon, and as fun as that might sound to a morally ambiguous half-breed, it likely wouldn't shape up to be a picnic for the rest of the city.
“Just tell me what I need to know,” Arianna implored, her tone low. If he didn't watch his step, he'd find himself on the business end of a stake. “The Eros.”
“Fun lot.”
“Not for the rest of us.”
Kade's brows perked. “Why not? Loads of sex could do these humans good, far as I can figure.”
“The Eros wipe your inhibitions—”
“Hence the fun.”
Arianna's jaw tightened. “According to my sources—”
“What? You have other sources? I'm hurt, really.”
“You're one second away from becoming someone's hay fever. You know that?”
His lower lip poked out, edging her nerves. On some people the gesture would look ridiculous; sadly, Kade was not one of them. Most vampires had the Anne Rice syndrome: too pretty for their own good, and Kade certainly fell into the category. He topped her in height by just a few inches, something she could begrudgingly appreciate, as being rather short, most men towered over her. His playful attitude made it annoyingly simple to forget he was the enemy. Regardless of how many times he stepped off his high horse to lend her a hand, he remained the enemy, one she would likely have to kill one day.
Her vocation as a demon hunter made it an occupational hazard. Any demon or vamp she met went on her list. Once they stopped being useful, they were dead.
She didn't want to think of Kade as dead for reasons she didn't particularly care to explore. Yet it seemed easy to forget she somewhat liked his annoying ass when he behaved like this.
Kade lowered his head, lips sucking intently on his cigarette before blowing out a pillar of smoke. “All right, then,” he drawled. “The Eros.”
“Yes, that would be nice.”
“Lust demons.”
“So I gathered.”
“They release these pheromones and make everyone jump each other's bones.” Kade grinned. “Fun times.”
“No, not fun times. Chaotic times.”
“And here I reckoned chaos implied fun.”
“Look, I just need to know—”
“When they're gonna strike.” Kade nodded. “'Cause someone wants to ruin everyone's fun.”
Arianna rolled her eyes. She seriously did not have time for this. Word of the Eros attack had swept through the underworld like wildfire. She'd only heard of it by making her normal rounds to the typical demon haunts, listening in on conversations to find the local hot spots, as they so often rotated. A demon hunter had a lonely life, but she couldn't see herself abandoning it any time soon.
She still had to find the demons responsible for killing her parents.
Cue vampire confidant. Kade had happened across her one night in an alley as she battled off three attackers. He'd stopped cold, blinked, reached for a cigarette, crossed his arms, and watched.
“You're good,” he'd said as the last demon fell.
“I know.”
He'd smirked. “And modest.”
For demon hunters, identifying vampires often seemed a game of hit-and-miss. That night, she hadn't had to guess. Men simply weren't made that pretty. Kade looked very pretty and very deadly. Dark brown, near-black hair offset his pale skin, making his every expression seem exaggerated. High cheekbones accented deep azure eyes, and his perfect mouth practically appeared painted on his face. He seemed a man who very much knew how good he looked and what those dangerous looks could do to unsuspecting women. That sort of cockiness drove Arianna mad, and had she moved just a hair quicker, Kade would have been nothing but a footnote in her history.
But she hadn't moved. She'd stood dumb for a few seconds, then blinked.
“Wow,” she'd said. “You'd think the vamps in this town wouldn't go out of their way to annoy people like me.”
“No fun in that,” Kade had replied. “And here I thought I was in for a dull night.”
“Want me to fun it up for you?”
“Didn't peg you for that sort of girl.”
Arianna's fist had drawn back, intending to send the cocky bastard to the ground. His hands had hit the sky in mock surrender, brows reaching his hairline. “Watch it,” he'd snapped, “or you'll never hear what I have to say.”
“And yet I'm sure I'll sleep well tonight.”
“Vamp nest. East side of town. Nasty sort, drawing in all kinds of little girls.” Kade had watched her for a minute, then slowly lowered his hands. “Thought we could take them out, you and I.”
Arianna would never forget that moment. Never before had any creature of the night approached her, talked with her as if she were something other than a killer of their kind. There stood every chance he meant to throw her off guard and take her out himself, but she hadn't thought so. Something in his eyes gave him away, something she couldn't explain.
“Why?” she'd asked.
Kade had sucked a long drag on his cigarette before consigning it to the pavement. “Why not? I'm bored, you're here, and it sounds like fun.”
Arianna had since come to appreciate that sentiment. If nothing else, Kade made life interesting.
When he didn't annoy the piss out of her.
Like now, when they had a problem that demanded immediacy.
“The Eros rob you of your inhibitions,” Arianna said, drawing herself back to the present, tossing her blonde hair over her shoulder. She didn't miss the way the vampire's eyes widened or how his nostrils flared. A very real, womanly part of her knew Kade wanted her, and the knowledge absolutely empowered her. “The last time they decided to interfere with our business, we were cleaning up the mess for weeks.”
Kade shrugged. “To be fair, it was Mardi Gras.”
“Just tell me what you know, jackass.”
He looked at her a minute longer, then broke his gaze away and shrugged. “Cemetery,” he said.
“Metairie, to be specific.”
Arianna's nose wrinkled. “The Eros are hanging out in a graveyard?”
“In this town, kitten, it's almost romantic.”
“So says the undead.” She blew out a deep breath. “Are you coming with?”
Kade's eyes found hers again, and his brow furrowed. “To face the Eros? This a date?”
“Had to ask,” he assured with a smirk. “It's the Eros. With their reputation…”
“Don't make me hurl.”
Kade slapped a hand across his chest and staggered as though shot. “You wound,” he said. “Yeah, I'll come along for the ride. Don't mind if we pop by my place to get some supplies, do you? Didn't bring anything with me. Hadn't exactly planned to go on the hunt tonight.”
Arianna's eyes went wide. She'd honestly never given thought to where Kade went when they weren't annoying the crap out of each other. “What?”
“Supplies? Shiny weapons?”
“You…have a place? You know…where you live?”
“Of course I have a place.” He frowned. “What? You thought I slept in the gutter?”
“Wouldn't put it past you.” Arianna sighed again, her eyes rolling heavenward. “All right. Let's go get these supplies.”
* * *
Demon hunting seemed all Arianna knew anymore. Ever since her parents' death, ever since she had learned what sort of uglies went bump in the night, she'd committed every day to ensuring no one else grew up the way she had. Demon hunters lived alone, had no family, formed no attachments, and usually did not rely upon others in their trade for information or assistance. Most hunted to silence an inner rage, to atone or seek revenge for a wrong committed, to even the balance between good and evil.
Arianna had met three or four demon hunters, perhaps, but they didn't go to bars and nurse drinks while swapping war stories or ritualize their trade in any way glamorized by Hollywood. She felt very alone most of the time, to the point where she looked forward to her meetings with Kade… Something she recognized as very wrong, yet it remained the truth, and she couldn't do anything to change it.
In all honesty, the Eros had served as a handy excuse to seek him out. He might annoy her to death, but she felt better annoyed than she did with herself as her only company. It seemed strange that a vampire remained her closest link to humanity; she didn't know what to think about it on most days.
Likewise, she'd jump into a snake pit before confessing as much to Kade. The bastard had enough of an ego as it stood.
“Wasn't planning on having people over,” Kade warned over his shoulder as their walk came to a halt. He'd escorted her to a ratty apartment complex not far from where they'd met. For whatever reason, she'd expected something less normal than a place that required an actual lock and key, though why, she didn't know. The vamp nests he'd led her to had all been in warehouses or places like this; she supposed she always expected vampires to lurk in cemeteries, thanks to centuries of flawed myth.
The room revealed only a bed and a scattering of clothing across the floor, along with several choice weapons.
Arianna made a face. “God, you're filthy.”
Kade shot her a sideways glance. “It's just a place to sleep.”
Her eyes landed on the mattress shoved against the far wall. It was easy to overlook in a quick glance. On appearances alone, she couldn't decide whether he slept in it every day or had just now come home after a long leave. “How do you find the bed?”
“Wouldn't you like to know?”
She shivered at that and crossed her arms. “Well, get a move on.”
“Aren't we in a hurry?”
“The Eros aren't exactly going to wait around.”
Kade's brows flickered. “Fancy yourself an authority on the Eros, then? Been doing your homework?”
“I just know they—”
“Are demons. I know. Try singing me another tune sometime.”
Arianna frowned. “What's that supposed to mean?”
“Whatever you want it to.” He began peeking under bits of clothing, though she couldn't help but feel stalled. Why on earth would he stall? “So how's it you knew about the Eros?”
“I told you,” she replied. “I have sources.”
“I thought I was your source.”
“I have others.” Well, that was almost true. She overheard things when she lurked in the right places. The last time the Eros attacked had seemed calamitous, but thankfully, the authorities chalked it up, as Kade had mentioned, to Mardi Gras and hadn't bothered investigating further.
Eros thrived on human passion; as long as they felt it, they survived, and every now and again they released certain pheromones that had women wetting their panties for pretty much anything male. Men suffered a similar response, and in a blur of debauchery, entire lives wound up ruined by people who didn't realize their actions were dominated by creatures from the underworld.
Arianna shivered, patience running short. “Look,” she said sharply, “are you stalling?”
Kade looked up. “What?”
“The weapons… Are you stalling?”
“For what?”
Might as well go for broke. “Are you hoping the Eros attack before we leave?”
“So… What? I get a taste of your precious self?” Kade snickered and rolled his eyes. “Someone has an ego.”
“You're one to talk!”
“No,” he replied, throwing down a shirt. “Really don't think I am. You really think I'd lure you up here—”
“That's what vampires do! They lure!”
“I couldn't give a fuck; you got it? I'm here to do what I said. Get supplies. If you want my help, you're just gonna have to wait for it.”
Arianna gestured emphatically. “We don't have time to wait!”
“Look, you're the one who asked for my help, all right? Then you come up here and ask me if…” He frowned in disgust. “You really take my little remarks to heart, kitten? Note to self… Be more careful what you say around cock-starved demon hunters.”
His eyes widened. So did hers.
“Sorry,” he said quickly, looking away. “I didn't… Sorry.”
Heat crashed over her. She felt dizzy but shoved it aside. Kade had never spoken to her that way. Not once, and she felt sure she'd feel furious if she weren't so…
“You are so beyond dust,” she snapped.
“Oh, yeah? Do your worst.”
So she did. She totally did. Well, she did if her worst consisted of leaping into Kade's arms, wrapping her legs around his waist, and tugging his mouth up to hers. If her worst meant rubbing herself wantonly against the hardened strain of his denim-clad erection and sucking his tongue into her mouth. Kade growled and seized her shoulders, pulling her flush against him and nipping at her lips.
“Stop,” she gasped, trying vainly to pull away from him. “Stop!” She tugged him up for another kiss and thrust her pelvis against his. “God, Kade, let me go!”
“I'm trying,” he snarled, and he sounded so bewildered and furious that she believed him. Bewildered, furious, and beyond aroused. “Get your grubby paws off me!” He concluded his tirade by fisting the loose material of her blouse and ripping it clean off her body, his mouth breaking from hers to kiss a wet path down her throat.
“Kade…” Her stomach tightened in ways that it should not tighten around Kade. And God, she felt wet. She felt on fire. Every nerve in her body blazed, and he couldn't touch her enough. “Stop touching me!”
“Are you deaf?” he growled, his teeth nipping at her breasts before ripping her bra away. “I'm trying.”
Arianna's insides trembled, trying futilely to stop. Every time she attempted to shove him off, she wound up foiled by treacherous hands that tugged him closer and a mouth that felt hexed to want nothing more than his kisses.
I can't stop. Oh God, I can't stop.
And from the way he made quick work of her clothing, it didn't take much to guess where they would end up.
The Eros. They had fallen too late.
Definitely time to panic.

Music and writing.

I was going to title this Sex and Writing to get your attention, but sex is only a part of writing, so... ; )

It wasn’t until I became involved in the writing community that I realized I wasn’t alone in how I connected music with my writing.
Before I’d even learned how to write a query letter, I had a ‘soundtrack’ for my first manuscript. To this day, listening to one of those songs immediately transfers me into that world.

Once I realized that many authors create soundtracks for WIPs, some before they even type a word, I started wondering about the phenomenon.
In writing it’s your job to take words and arrange them in such a way to make your reader feel a particular emotion, to draw them into world so they don’t want to leave.

With music the effect is similar—music inspires emotion, draws you in—only the element is musical note and rhythm, instead of only words.

There are songs that immediately bring to mind a character, or, my favorite, solidify a character. When I listen to the song, I ‘hear’ my character. Not necessarily because of the words, or the melody, but a combination of everything.

My taste in music is rather diverse but I’m a child of the 80’s: heavier rock is my go-to preference. I love deep songs, show me you feel, but don’t whine at me. : )

Here are few of my favorites.

One of the most recent songs to inspire me was Sober by Pink.
This song characterizes the heroine in the book I’m afraid to write so well, that I almost stopped the car when I first heard it, but didn’t so I could go home and type all the lyrics I could remember into Google until I found out who sang it. And I should have known. This song still makes me want to stop what I'm doing and try and understand this particular heroine well enough to write her.

Razor Sharp by Collide

I found this song via the extremely talented Jennifer McKenzie and it’s been my go to get-in-the-mood-for-writing-that-scene song ever since. You only have to listen to it once to know why.

Beautiful Lie by 30 Seconds to Mars.
To me, this song personifies the perfect hero. In my opinion, Jared Leto has one of the best voices in the industry. Listen to the restrained passion, the tortured soul, the strength and gentleness and then about 3 minutes in… *sigh* Yup, the complete package. Eric from the tentatively titled Heaven Next Door was partially inspired by this song. The video is simply breath-taking.

Savin Me by Nickleback. This is the song for the hero opposite the heroine in Pink's Sober. He's a complex hero, would have to be to match wits with my heroine. : ) Chad Kroeger has the perfect growl in his voice. It's an interesting video, but embedding was disabled.

Care to share any of the songs that have inspired your writing?

Monday's Pick-me-up and a question

A few weeks ago, I installed Cluster maps on my blog. I think it was JA Saare who had one on her blog and I thought it was so cool I copied her. Hey, Jaime, its the highest compliment, right? : )

Once the thing started working, I was shocked to find out I have readers in South America, Africa, England, Germany and New Zealand. I mean wow!

I've gone international. : )

So, please, don't be shy, I'm dying of curiosity here: Dear International readers, how did you hear of my blog? Drop by and say hello! (Or bonjour, salud, hola) Algo usted querría. (no, that's pretty much the extent of my Spanish)

And without further ado, here is your Monday Pick-Me-Up and uh, he could really pick you up.