Monday, December 27, 2010

Goals...The Dreaded Review Time

Today I start to review last year's business plan, as well as goals business and personal. Yep, there were things that worked and didn't work in the business plan. Hopefully, I learned something from that. Like not to get over extended! Or could becoming more organized and focused be the answer?

Looking at the personal goals, I see the same pattern. Some were achieved, others not. Once again, I realize the need to either not say 'yes' to so many family/friend requests or become more organized with the time around them.

The coming year promises to be as hectic if not more so than 2010. In looking at life, work and personal, I think organization is the key to get me through a lot of what lies a head. I've discovered clutter around me also clutters my creativity. So after the business plan is laid out and the goals list started, I will refocus on dealing with organizing the work area that exploded. Add to my efforts, start nagging the Honey to do the same with the crap he has piled up in the office that has started to drive me bonkers.

I will set a weekly minimum word count. Divided by the number of days I schedule to work, if I miss the daily objective, I can then catch up by producing more on another day.

I will set a timer to limit my time on the social sites.

I will do more in promotion...once again using the timer to limit time spent so that I actually WRITE. If I don't write, then promotion become a moot point.

These are a few of the things that occurred when I started to think about my coming year. What about you? Do you have thoughts to share?


Thursday, December 23, 2010

Guest updates

With the holidays in full swing, guest appearances are tabled until after the New Year.

But 2011 starts off with a bang! My weekly post will become more focused and guests appearances will got to 2 per week. Also toying with a couple of other ideas, so stay tunned!

Have a wonderful holiday everyone and I'll pop in next week with a question!


Tuesday, December 21, 2010

It's Official!!! Happy Dance

Woohoo! It's official...I'm a monthly columinst for Night Owl Review Magazine. Leaf's Legends:Exploring the worlds of fantasy, myths and the paranormal
debuts in the February issue.

What a nice Christmas present!


Monday, December 20, 2010

Happy Holidays to One and All

Holiday insanity is upon us! Our Christmas this year will be a quiet one. We did our family celebration yesterday because this is the year family members spend the holiday with out of town family.

The mayhem of 5 kids ranging from 2-12 rolling around on the floor playing always delights my heart, even if my ears are no longer used to the noise. It was fun to see the older ones (who wanted big kid gifts) as involved with setting up Zuzu worlds, as the younger kids who received the gifts. The results a little squabbling and lots of laughter. I was most impressed with how everyone shared with Toddler, who at 2 is still getting her head around the sharing concept.

Here's hoping your week won't be too crazy and that your holiday celebrations are safe and happy ones. I'm going to spend the next two weeks focused on new opportunities that have recently been presented to me and getting organized.

Whatever you, enjoy! I wish everyone a Happy Holiday Season and if you don't celebrate, here's wishing you a great week in general!


Thursday, December 16, 2010

Guesting today---Penny Lockwood!

Join me in welcoming Penny Lockwood. Penny has graciously shared the first chapter of her middle grade paranormal, Ghost for Rent for our reading pleasure today. This one you'll want to get for that young reader on your Christmas list. So grab a cup of coffee and set back to enjoy. But first, a little about Penny!


I was born and raised on the East Coast, in Stamford, Connecticut. I attended Stamford public schools and graduated from Stamford High School in 1964. Classmates back then knew me as "Susan Lockwood." After high school, I attended and graduated from business school and also attended community college.

My family and close friends have known me as Penny since before I was born. My brother was enamored of Sky King's niece, Penny. He asked my parents if they would name me Penny. My dad wanted to name me after my mother, so my birth certificate says "Susan." No one called me that, however, and in my mind, "Susan" is my mom, not me. I am "Penny," and all of my bylines are either Penny Lockwood or Penny Lockwood Ehrenkranz.

Like a great number of writers, I knew I wanted to write from the time I was a youngster. Writing for me has always been easier than talking, and as a child, I spent a lot of time writing letters and crafting stories for my own enjoyment. I find it somewhat amusing that one of my early stories was "Patty and the Country Ghost," and my first published novel, Ghost for Rent, is the story of a country ghost.

I lived on the East Coast until 1977 when I moved to California and I met my husband. In 1978, we moved to the Pacific Northwest where we made our home. We are the proud parents of a son and daughter, both of whom are now happily married. We have one lovely granddaughter. We currently share our rural six acres with three dogs and five cats. Over the years, in addition to dogs and cats, we've had goats, rabbits, doves, cockatiels, finches, budgies, and a turtle.

Over the years, I have worked and volunteered for a number of non-profit organizations. Much of that work is reflected in the non-fiction articles I have written offering advice to both parents and teenagers. My non-fiction has appeared in parenting, writing, and teen magazines. My fiction leans toward fantasy and soft science fiction, often with a touch of romance, and has been published in a number of small press genre magazines and online.

I have been published in two anthologies: Pirate Writing's Anthology Year 1: A Time of Change, and The Breast Feeding Diaries. My middle grade paranormal mystery, Ghost for Rent, is available from Hardshell Word Factory, and my young adult chapbook, Dragon Sight, is available from Sams Dot Publishing.

I have a picture book which has been accepted for publication with 4RV publishing and a collection of my science fiction and fantasy short stories has been accepted for publication with Sams Dot Publishing. More will be coming about these new and exciting projects.

I work as an intern editor learning about acquisitions with 4RV Publishing. I also work as a copyeditor with MuseItUp Publishing and Damnation Books LLC/Eternal Press.


This middle grade, paranormal, ghost story is aimed at youth in grades four to six. It is approximately 13,280 words, 10 chapters, and 65 pages long. The story begins when eleven year old Wendy Wiles learns her parents are planning to get divorced. Forced to leave her beloved city home for a cheaper country place, Wendy, her mother, and her twelve year old brother move to rural Warren, Oregon.
On move-in day, Wendy meets a neighbor girl who tells her their quaint country home is haunted. Events proceed quickly as Wendy, her new friend, Jennifer, and Wendy’s brother, Mike, see ghostly figures dancing in the woods. Despite Mom’s claims that “there’s no such thing as ghosts,” paranormal events continue to occur in the Wiles’ home. Meanwhile her brother Mike, arch-tease, continues to torment Wendy, claiming he’s causing the unusual happenings.
Wendy searches through library records to get to the bottom of the mystery. Finally with Jennifer’s help, Wendy begins to unravel the truth. At last even Mike can no longer disbelieve and decides to aid Wendy in her search. By the end of the story, the three young sleuths have uncovered an accidental death, a suicide and a murder.

ISBN: 0-7599-0340-9 trade paperback
ISBN: 0-7599-0337-9 eBook

By: Penny Lockwood
Available through Fiction Wise:
Available at: Amazon


With the rain pelting her, Wendy ran from her bus stop to her apartment building. She couldn't wait to get home. Maybe she'd call Darcy and see if she could come swim in the indoor pool. Or, maybe, she'd just go to the exercise room and work out before dinner. She couldn't make up her mind. Her twelve year old brother, Mike, liked to go straight to the arcade room, so she and Darcy would stay away from there.

Karl, the door man, greeted her as she skidded to a stop under the rain awning. “Good afternoon, Ms. Wiles.” He opened the door for her with a theatrical flourish.

“Good afternoon, Karl.” Wendy smiled, careful not to show her braces. She always felt grown-up and elegant when Karl open the door for her.

After entering the foyer, she groaned. Mike, dressed in his usual black jeans and tee-shirt, leaned against the elevator button, banging his head to the awful heavy metal music he enjoyed so much. She heard his Walkman even though he listened through earphones. Life would be almost perfect if it weren't for him, she thought.

Wendy reached the elevator just as the doors opened, and she slipped in beside her brother. She watched him out of the corner of her eye and considered asking him about the argument Mom and Dad had last night. She wasn’t sure if Mike even heard them since his stereo was always so loud. Mike ignored her and kept his eyes focused on the flashing floor lights.
Fine, she thought, pulling a book of Emily Dickinson's poetry from her backpack. Water dripped off her hat, but after living in Oregon her whole life, it didn’t bother her. She pretended her stupid brother had been abducted by aliens and immersed herself in Emily’s poems. Something cold and slimy slithered down her back. She screeched, and dropped her book. Dancing from one foot to the other, she stubbed her toe against her bulging backpack, then yelped even louder. She hopped up and down as she clawed at her back. Mike howled, and held his sides, laughing so hard he doubled over.

Wendy retrieved the fake worm Mike had dropped inside her tee-shirt. "You jerk!" she yelled, throwing the worm at her brother. She gathered up her books which had spilled out of her backpack onto the elevator floor.

Mike laughed. “Wottsa matter, sis? Can't ya take a joke?”

“You're not funny, Mike. Why couldn't I have been an only child?” She ground her teeth and balled her fists at her sides.

“Because I was born first, bird-brain.”

“I'm going to tell, Mom.”

The elevator door opened and Mike dashed out, racing for their apartment. “If she's working on a story, I wouldn't interrupt her if I were you.”

Wendy’s anger deflated like a popped balloon. Mike was right. Ever since Mom decided to be a writer, she'd become distracted and unavailable. Of course, Wendy wanted to be a poet, but poets are supposed to be moody and poetry didn’t take nearly as long to write. Mom spent most of her time caught up in a story - planning it, writing it, rewriting it. Probably if she sold something, it would be better, but so far her track record ranked zero. Maybe today she had worked at an office temp job and wouldn't be thinking of her latest story, Wendy thought hopefully, then sighed. Nope, Mom always thought about her stories.

When Wendy entered the apartment, she heard loud voices coming from the living room. What was Dad doing home? He hardly ever comes home for dinner any more. She closed the door and put her backpack on the hall table. Mike stood near the closed living room door. She tiptoed up beside him. Anger at her brother's teasing forgotten, she listened to her parents fighting. Her stomach felt like someone had kicked her and tears welled up in her eyes.

“I've had it with you, Paul,” Wendy's mother screamed at her husband. “You're never home. You say you're working late at the university, but you’re not there when I call. It's getting worse not better. You promised you'd be more available for the kids. They've probably forgotten what you look like! When you are home, you're either watching T.V. or working on the computer. If I'm going to be a single parent, I'm going to do it without having to be your wife too. I want a divorce.”

Wendy grabbed Mike’s hand. When he turned to look at her, she knew his shocked expression mirrored her own. “Divorce?” she whispered. Mike shrugged.

Dad's voice came through the open door. “Divorce? You want a divorce? Fine, Anne, you've got your divorce. I work hard trying to give this family nice things. Who do you think pays for this fancy apartment? You certainly don't pay for it with your stories.”

“Don't go bringing up my stories, Paul. You promised to be supportive when I took the creative writing class. Now all you do is make fun of my efforts.” Wendy heard her mom's voice tremble.
“Supportive? Do you realize how much postage you use every month? Well I do. I keep track, and it's more than fifty dollars a month. You don't earn anything with this career of yours, but you know how to spend it.”

“You're not being fair, Paul. You knew it would take a while to get established, and I have had some encouraging rejection letters. It's just taking time.” Wendy imagined tears running down Mom's face. She hoped the man she married some day would understand her need to write poetry better than Dad understood Mom’s need to write her stories.

“If you want me around this house more, then get a real job so I don't have to work all these extra hours.”

“You don't get paid for those extra hours, Paul. You're just trying to confuse me. Get out before this gets any uglier. I've seen you with her, you know?” Mom's voice sounded bitter.

“What is Mom talking about, Mike?”

Mike shook his head and frowned, then put his ear near the door again.

“Come on, Mike, I don't think we should listen any more.” Wendy pulled her brother to the kitchen.

“Wow! Can you believe that?” Mike asked, as he put his Walkman on the table. He pulled milk, peanut butter, jelly, and bread from the fridge, made sandwiches and poured milk into glasses. Grinning, he pushed a sandwich at Wendy. “Here I made one for you.”

Wendy pushed the sandwich away. “How can you think of eating? Weren't you listening? Mom wants a divorce!” With that lead feeling still in her stomach, she didn’t feel much like eating, but for once her brother wasn’t being a jerk. He’d even made her a sandwich. Then she saw the fake spider sticking out of it.

“Mike! How could you? Don't you ever give up? Mom and Dad are talking about getting divorced and all you can think of are your stupid jokes!”

“So what?” he replied around a mouth full of food.

“What are we going to do?”

“I bet we have to move for one thing. Who do you want to live with?” Mike wiped his mouth with the back of his hand.

Wendy realized she'd been gripping her shirt; she ran her sweaty palms down her jeans. She took off her hat, put it on the table, then sat down and faced her brother. “How can you be so calm, Mike? We're talking about big changes here.” She glared at him.

She heard a snuffling noise and turned; her mother entered the kitchen.

“Hi, kids. How was school? I didn't hear you come in.” Her voice sounded strained.

“Mom, we heard you and Dad,” Wendy said.

“Oh.” Mom couldn’t quite look at either one of them.

“What's going to happen, Mom?” Wendy asked. She swiped her sleeve across the tears flowing down her cheeks. Her hands trembled as she clutched her chair. Inside her body vibrated like a massage chair.

Mom ran her hands through her short brown hair, disturbing the grey at the temples. “Dad and I agreed to separate for awhile. I know this is going to be hard on you kids, but you'll still get to see him. He’s packing a few things, then he'll say goodbye. I don't think we'll be able to stay here. I can't afford it, even if I go back to work full-time. Your father said he'd help pay our rent if we moved someplace cheaper.”

“Move! We can't move. I love this place, Mom. Why can't you and Dad just make up? It’s just not fair,” Wendy screamed. She pushed her chair so hard, it fell backwards as she got up from the table. She pushed past her mother and ran to her bedroom, slamming the door behind her.
Wendy leaned against the closed door and surveyed her room through misty eyes. She saw the double canopy bed, draped in soft pinks and white, the white double dresser, night stand and vanity, the standing oval mirror, and the view of the Willamette River outside her window. Why do Mom and Dad have to be so stupid? She threw herself on her bed. Tears fell from her eyes; her body shook with huge sobs. She gulped for air as her nose clogged, but she couldn't stop crying.

She barely heard the gentle tap on her door. Then she felt a heavy weight settle beside her on the bed. Dad’s strong hand rubbed her back, then stoked her hair.

“Honey, you know I love you and Mike, don't you? It's just that things aren't working out too well for me and Mom right now.”

Wendy sat up, rubbing her fists into her eyes, hiccupping as she gasped for breath. Dad took his handkerchief from his pocket and wiped her face, then held it to her nose. “Blow.”

It sounded more like a honk, but blowing her nose helped restore her breathing. She felt better too. “hanks, Dad.” Wendy took the damp cloth from her Dad.

“Dad? What did Mom mean about seeing you with another woman?”

“Mom and I have been having problems for awhile now, Wendy. The woman your mother saw me with is just a friend. We talk about things, mostly my problems with Mom. Sometimes we have dinner together, but that’s all. I love your Mom, honey.”

“I don't want you to leave. I want to stay here in this apartment with you and Mom.”

“What about Mike?” Dad laughed. Wendy looked at him. It wasn’t his happy laugh. His eyes were sad and moist with tears.

“Mike, too. Dad, I don't want things to change.” Wendy took several short breaths trying to regain her composure.

“Life does change, Wendy.” Dad ran his fingers through her hair. “You've changed. Just look at you. Maybe Mom's right and I don't spend enough time with you kids. You've become a young woman without my noticing.”

“Well, I am eleven, Dad,” Wendy said, twisting her mouth into a pout.

"You remind me of my sister, Barbara, when she was your age. You know, I teased her just like Mike teases you. I love her a lot now, and I hope you and Mike will appreciate each other when you get older, too.” Dad hugged her. “I've got to go, honey. Mom and I agreed that I'll try to see you on weekends. This is just going to be a trial separation. We'll work something out, okay?”

“Can't you just stay here and work something out?” Wendy held fast to her dad's arm.

“Thing is, honey, even if I stay, we can't afford this apartment any longer. They raised the rent last month, and now it's out of our price range, even if Mom did go back to work.” Dad kissed Wendy's forehead, then pulled her up to give her a huge bear hug. “Bye, sweetie, see you soon.”

“Yeah, sure, Dad.” Wendy slumped down onto her bed, staring at the door long after Dad closed it. “Why did you guys have to fight? Why does everything have to change? Life is supposed to be great when you're a kid. It's not supposed to hurt like this,” Wendy lamented to the empty room.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Publisher Laura Baumbach Gives Tips on How to Get Published!

I met Laura Baumbach a number of years ago at an RT conference. We discovered we both have a wrapped sense of humor among other things. The one area we didn't see eye to eye on was genre...Laura is a multi-award winning author of Male/Male erotica as well as other genres. I read M/M sometimes, but don't feel anywhere near qualified to write a romance about two men in love, but I applaud those who can.

Fast forward a number of years and today, Laura not only continues to write, but she is the publisher of not one, but three publishing houses. The oldest and best known is Man Love Romances. We're luck today that Laura has agreed to share suggestions on how to get published. So enough of my yakking...let me introduce Laura and then sit back and read what she has to say on the "How To" aspect of the publishing world!

Laura Baumbach is the best-selling, multi-award winning, acclaimed author of short stories, novellas, novels and screenplays. Most recently, Mexican Heat, written in collaboration with Josh Lanyon, has been chosen as a FINALIST for Best Gay Romance in the 2009 Lambda Literary Awards, a FINALIST in the 2010 EPPIE Awards, and has received an Honorable Mention at the 2009 San Francisco Book Festival. Laura was nominated for Best GBLT Author 2008 in the LRC's Best Of Awards for 2008. Her adventure story The Lost Temple of Karttikeya won the 2008 EPPIE Award for Best GLBT novel. Her sequel to the best-selling novel A Bit of Rough, Roughhousing, was 2007 Reviewers' Choice Award Winner.

Details of the Hunt, a 2006 EPPIE Finalist, in its mainstream 'buddy' version, was selected as a Semi-finalist in the 2007 Shriekfest Screenplay competition as well as becoming the winner of Best Telefilm in the aTalentScout, Winter 2004 TV writing contest, and the Fort Bend Writers Guild Screenplay writing Contest for Spring of 2005.

A retired nurse, Laura devotes herself fulltime to publishing and writing. She is the ownerof ManLoveRomance Press, a small print publishing house that specializes in gay erotic romance, mystery and fiction. ( MLR Press was founded in January of 2007, publishing authors such as Richard Stevenson, author of the Donald Strachey Mystery series and J.S.Cook, author of the Inspector Raft Mystery Series. She is also the owner of the promotional co-op for authors of gay romance and fiction,


By Laura Baumbach

It’s a straightforward question that isn’t easily answered. The whole ‘getting published’ process has numerous layers to it. I’m going to assume for the purpose of this article that the writer has acquired a degree of writing skill. While this may be the first story they have decided to try and get published it is not their first attempt at writing a story. While they may not be a seasoned, multi-manuscript author, they know how to craft a story from beginning to end and craft three dimensional characters readers can relate to.

The first step is to take that awesome idea you had in the middle of the night or in the shower and write it down. Give it a beginning, a middle and an end. Craft a believable storyline with heroes readers want to root for. Include sub-plots and interesting secondary characters. Remember your characters have five senses and keep atmosphere and setting in mind. Then when that’s done, reread it, rewrite it. Have someone else read it, IF you trust their opinion. Read it out loud to yourself if you don’t have anyone. Use beta or critique groups if that type of sharing work is for you. Evaluate their feedback. Make changes if you agree with their feedback. Polish your baby until it shines. But understand that if it is accepted somewhere for publication there is a huge chance the editor involved in making your work release ready will want you to rework anything from a few words to major portions of the manuscript. As pretty as it is now every word most authors write, even the pros, are not golden. Yours aren’t either.

The second step in getting published is, now that you have the manuscript completed, find the appropriate publisher to submit it to. The best way to do that is to find presses that publish in the genre you are writing. Buy a few of their books, read them, and make sure you like the quality of the house. See if you think your manuscript and their press are a good match. If you have contacts in the industry you can also ask around. Privately authors will discuss the pro and cons of the publishers they work with. And very place will have pros and cons. No one press is an exact fit for every author. Check on the sites that post warnings about problems with publishers to locate potential black holes you don’t want to fall into.

Third step. Once you have chosen a house, study their website, read their submission guidelines and follow them. Locate the correct submission email addy. Format the manuscript the way they tell you to, including the files they request whether it is three chapters and synopsis or the entire manuscript. The key here is to send exactly what they ask for the way they ask for it. If you don’t follow directions now, you are telling them you won’t follow them when you go to editing. Include your name and contact information on everything you send them--the query letter, the synopsis, and the manuscript or files.

Don’t skimp on the query letter. Make it no longer than one page. Include a brief introduction of yourself with mention of any writing accomplishments you might have in the first paragraph. In the second, sell your storyline. Make it intriguing. Tell me why I want to read this story. Don’t tell them it is the best thing ever written or what a masterful author you are. If you or it is any of those things the editors will see it when they read the story. If not, you’ll just sound silly. The third paragraph should give a sense of what you plan on doing to promote the book—your Twitter, Facebook, author website, blog, autographing plans, and conference attendances planned, etc. Keep in mind the Internet has a permanent and long memory. It is not unusual for potential editors to research you on the net before offering contracts. If you don’t play nice with other or have a history of rants or negative presence, it will affect how they perceive you and your work. Even if the best of authors are too much work in other areas of the
industry, publishers will hesitate to deal with them repeatedly, if at all.

Your synopsis should not be cliffhanger! If a press is to publish a story they really do need to know the whole storyline from start to finish, including all the spoilers. It should be a point by
point outline of the plot and character development. No skimping here either.

Step four in the process is sometimes the hardest for unpublished. Once you all these elements together, take a deep breath and submit them to the publisher of you choosing. Really, send it out. Make note in the submissions guidelines how long of a wait you can expect before hearing back from them. If that time period approaches and you haven’t heard from them besides an acknowledgment of receipt, send a polite inquiry to them to jog their memory and let them know you are still patiently waiting. Once you hear back from them, respond appropriately. If it was a ‘no thank you’, hopefully they included some feedback so you can see where they felt your manuscript was lacking. If it was an acceptance, then the real work has just begun.

Step number five is establishing good working relationships, not just with your editor but your fellow authors. Show you are willing to join loops, participate in other authors’ events, and generally present yourselves in a positive light within the industry environment and events. These are factors that keep open that publishing house door to more of your work.

November's Prize Winner

Can't believe it's December already! Hope everyone is enjoying the holiday season and not getting too stressed.

The name drawn for the November Christmas ornament prize is: hotcha

Contact me at so I can get your prize to you!


Monday, November 29, 2010

How to Help Tina Gerow

I met Tina when we both wrote for a publisher that is no longer in business. She's a fun, inspiring and energetic friend and my heart bleeds for her and her family. Below is a copied post from Cheyenne McCray on Tina's health problems and the link on where to donate if you can. If your finances don't permit a monetary donation, prayers and positive thoughts are greatly appreciated too.


Please help: Tina Gerow/Cassie Ryan has been taken suddenly and seriously ill. She has an affliction called Arteriovenous malformation or AVM in her brain which has led to multiple surgeries and an extended stay in ICU. No family is ever prepared for such a thing and Tina's is no exception. In times like this, every dollar helps and her friends in the writing community are banding together to ask you to open your hearts (and wallets) to help get Tina's family through this. Tina is well known to readers and authors across the country who have embraced her books, most recently, (writing as Cassie Ryan) Seducing the Succubus (Berkley/October 2010) and coming in April 2011, The Demon and the Succubus. Please send your prayers, positive energy and love out into the universe with Tina's name on it. Cards can be mailed to: Tina Gerow, c/o SBP PO BOX 42255, Phoenix, AZ 85080. Any donations you would like to make to Tina Gerow/Cassie Ryan to help with the burden of mounting medical bills, can be given by visiting: or by sending a check toTina Gerow, c/o SBP PO BOX 42255, Phoenix, AZ 85080. Help spread the word—please post on your blogs and websites.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Happy Monday and a Few Questions!

Can you believe how quickly the holidays are bearing down? Before we know it, it will be Christmas and then the start of another year.

Have you started your Christmas shopping yet? Will you invest more this year than last, or you about on track with the same amount of spending?

Just curious as to the reality of the economy since the media talks about retail sales increasing and holiday job hiring is up. Do you feel things have improved in your life the past year or few months?


Thursday, November 11, 2010

Today, Cynthia Vespia shares!

I met Cynthia Vespia this year at the RT Convention in Columbus. Our personalities clicked immediately and by the time the convention ended I had a new life friend. Bubbly, full of energy and a bit snarky (gee, wonder why I like her so much), she made me laugh.

Here she shares with us a look at LIFE DEATH and BACK and after reading this excerpt my 'to buy' list just increased.

So join me in welcoming Cynthia Vespia and let's ask her a lot of keeps Las Vegas safe since she'll be tied to her computer answering them and not out carousing!

About Cynthia Vespia

Cynthia was drawn to writing early in life where she developed a successful career as a journalist. But it was the allure of the fantastical worlds of fiction that always remained her true passion.

Her first novel, a medieval fiction entitled The Crescent (iUniverse)was published in August 2005. The novel was unanimously praised as "an engaging, descriptive read" which prompted a sell-out at Borders Bookstore in less than one hour during the first official signing.

A short story, a satirical look at the afterlife titled Death's Grand Design (Utterpants), was published online shortly thereafter and once again met with reviews that honored her attention to detail and the flow of her prose.
In May of 2006, Theater of Pain ( was released. This suspense unfolds within the eccentric world of professional wrestling where competitors would do anything to reach the top...even murder.

After a short hiatus, Cynthia returned with Demon Hunter ( It is the story about a nobody who becomes a somebody in the bloodiest of ways. Following the tradition of dark fantasy and combining the concept of high-adventure, Demon Hunter examines both the light and dark side of human nature when a man learns he is fated to hunt demons before they corrupt mankind. The success of Demon Hunter was followed up by the sequel Seek & Destroy which takes the characters and the reader on a journey that begins on the high seas and ends in Hell. Both novels (published in e-book format) were nominated for Best Series in 2009 by LRC Cafe.

Cynthia’s next release returns to the contemporary side of thrillers but still contains that special twist that her novels are fast becoming known for. LIFE, DEATH and BACK(WeavingDreamsPublishing) delves into the paranormal when a mans life is tragically cut short and he remains on Earth to tie up loose ends with his family.

Today Cynthia writes mainstream suspense fiction with savagely powerful characters and strong storylines. Cynthia likes to refer to her novels as "Real life situations that you could find yourself in but hope to God you never do. In her spare time she enjoys reading, movies that involve a strong plot/characters, and keeping active through various forms of martial arts and as an active fitness competitor.

Cynthia can be reached through her website at

After his life is tragically cut short a man learns how to be a guardian angel to save those he's left behind.

Bryan Caleb has unfinished business. Even as he struggles with his own mortality Bryan must find the compassion within himself to help guide Lisa Zane, an emotionally and spiritually drained young girl, through her troubled life to find her purpose. For it is only with Lisa's help that Bryan can rescue his very own son from the life of crime he has fallen into before Kriticos Caleb's fate mirrors his father' death.


The first sojourn from life to death was very much the epitome of birth. Brilliant flashes of light were aglow all around bathing snapshots of memory, minute but hardly trivial.

When the ride stopped and the suspension of disbelief released him, Bryan was curious to find his own corpse stretched out at his feet. It lay on the grassy lawn in front of his office building, twenty feet from where he had initially been walking.

The corpse, his corpse, stared up at him through one wide eye. Sightless now it still echoed the feeling of shock that he had felt the very moment the vehicle had struck him.

Though he wanted to look away from the tragic scene utter terror and confusion gripped him still. Pedestrians and motorists surrounded the accident and sirens wailed in the distance. He was oblivious to it all.

All Bryan wanted to do was crawl back inside his body, stand up and say, "Hey, look at me, I'm fine. Not a scratch." Then there were strong impulses pulling him into the belief that this was just a nightmare. At any moment he was going to respond with a shudder and a cold sweat but he would wake, frantic at first, until he found himself in bed next to his lovely wife, Holly.
He hadn't bothered to wake her that morning. She was radiantly aglow in her pregnancy as she slept. It was their very first child and they were overjoyed to be experiencing this miracle after only one year of marriage.

Bryan had kissed her on the cheek and gone on his way to the law firm. His place of business was another joyful experience to be able to share with Holly. Bryan was the youngest of his class to seek and sustain a substantial position within a reputable law firm. Of course it helped that his father had owned and maintained the firm since Bryan had been a boy. But now it was his own, inheriting it when his father had passed away just two years after Bryan had graduated from law school.

It was an unusually cloudy day in Stanford, but nevertheless Bryan was in an upbeat mood. Whistling as he crossed the street to his offices he had never even seen the drunk driver's vehicle coming. Perhaps he had not wanted to. As the saying goes he had been looking upon the world with rose-colored glasses up to that point. No harm could befall him, he was indestructible. Throughout life Bryan had truly felt blessed, now it was all gone. In an instant his entire life had been snuffed out. His promising future was no more. All that was left was another casualty in the war of drinking and driving. He was no longer Bryan Adam Caleb outstanding lawyer, loving husband, expectant father, and genuine nice guy. Now he was just another statistic.

But Bryan didn't understand what was happening. If he was dead, why was he still on this Earth? What happened to the other side? So many unanswered questions tore through his mind.
He refused to believe it.

As paramedics encompassed the accident scene Bryan turned and ran. His mind was in frenzy and he just needed to get away, get some space to determine what in the world was going on.
His pace quickened to the point where he felt as though he had wings and could lift off. Finally he came to a stop at the end of the block and to his surprise he was not at all fatigued. His leg muscles did not ache and he was not breathing heavy. In fact, he was not breathing at all.
Still in disbelief he went to check his pulse for some sign that he was still alive. His fingers passed straight through his arm. There was no solidity to his wrist at all. He tried two more times with nothing but the same result.

Bryan looked around frantically for help. With his head on a swivel, something above him caught his eye. Lights gleamed up in the sky like as though a great crystal was wedged between two clouds precariously placed for the sun to shine off it.

He stood awed looking at the magnificent colors waning in every direction. It brought him a smile and a sense of peace. After a moment he even thought he glimpsed his loving father's face high above beckoning him to come forward and join him.
Bryan began to imagine just how nice it would be to be at his father's side again and to see his mother again in perfect and simple bliss.

The lights shone brighter and began to descend down towards him. Bryan stood stock still as they came closer and closer. The bright glare was such that he had to close his eyes but the pleasant images still remained. He felt his feet lift off the ground and he began to rise up with the jubilation.

Many wondrous memories were encompassing him now. Simple joys he new as a boy, more substantial and rich emotions of love and faith and virtue that he'd experienced as a man. Those worlds of days long since past were uniting on a grand scale and lifting Bryan up higher and higher into ecstasy the likes of which he had never known before. But with this cataclysm of extraordinary peace came relevance and a fear.

This illuminated structure of memories was a portal allowing him access to the other side. It was the ever after, bounty and life everlasting would be soon to come. Bryan's time here on Earth had been full but was now over. But he wasn't ready to leave yet.

"No," he stated. His voice was low at first as he still clung to the tranquility of the descending portal and the majesty of what it was.

He tried hard to shake it off, feeling indifference of a strong nature. Something was wrong. He did not belong here, not now. There was too much left for him to do. He did not want to leave his unborn child fatherless. The Caleb Family Law Practice was on a steady rise; Bryan needed to leave his legacy before he left this Earth.

As his will to stay grew stronger and stronger he shouted "No!" more defiantly than before and this time it broke him away from the suction of the light.

To find out what happens, watch for the release of Life, Death, and Back coming 2010.

Watch the trailer at COS Productions:

Monday, November 8, 2010

My Life, Such as It Is This Week

My Life this week will consist of writing, writing and more writing. Not sure how much I will get done here on the blog because of the delays I've experienced on deadlines. Those will consume my life, other than the Toddler visits. Her sister goes in to get tonsils yanked next week, so she'll be around more. All the extra time with hubby's work travel will be for naught.

Hope everyone has a great week and I'll be back Monday with determination to have something fun to discuss here. Thinking on polling ideas for December and a special prize!


Monday, November 1, 2010

LB Gregg Steams Things Up!

Hope you have the anti-fog spray on your glasses because today's guest is LB Gregg and this gal sure knows how to heat up a blog and steam your glasses! Join me in welcoming LB Gregg!

Hi there. My name is LB Gregg and I write m/m fiction for ladies and gentlemen to enjoy. I’m passionate about travel, wine, skiing, visiting friends, reading, writing, and all things New England. I’ve rafted the Pacuare, sailed the British Virgin Islands, ziplined the jungle canopy, backpacked Europe, and most impressively, I’ve wrangled three rascally children for over twenty years. I hate to cook; I love to eat; and I enjoys container gardening.

I’m obsessed with a certain German soap opera.

You can visit me on the web at my blog NoseInABook or at my website The Smithfield Gazette.

Today I’d like to share a taste of my most recent release, the romantic Halloween comedy, Dudleytown. Spooky, dirty, and sexy fun—for only $4.99 from Aspen Mountain Press!

College sophomore Alexander Strauss has one rule: no messing around with straight guys. Especially not his mouthwatering roommate, Shannon. When their ride share drives off the side of a mountain, the two young men find themselves deep in an uninhabited forest searching for their missing friend. Wandering the famously cursed grounds of Dudleytown, Alex figures something truly unholy must be at play, because only insanity could tempt him to break his cardinal rule.

Exciting Excerpt~

I wasn’t sure if it was my imagination or the history of creepies and crawlies in Dudleytown, or the thought of felons, dead people, curses, or the depth of darkness that encroached on us from every angle—maybe my eyes were just playing tricks on me, but I swear Shannon’s light was going out. It looked yellower. Dimmer.

A lone coyote yipped in the valley and I swallowed my voice so I wouldn’t embarrass myself by shrieking. I squeezed my fist so tight my fingers went numb.

Get a grip, Strauss.

“Now what?”

I thought Shannon was grousing at me, but the road branched and he stalled. I slammed into his back again.

“Pay attention.”

“Quit stopping right in front of me.”

Shannon’s dim light searched the ground. To the right, a path made entirely of grass and loose boulders vanished into the forest. To the left, the broken road continued through the mountains. He grunted and swung the light in an arc. “How many roads are up here?”

“I think this is it. Plus the hiking trails, but those have been closed for years.”

Nailed crookedly to a tree was a No Trespassing sign, a Road Closed sign and a threatening informative notice that violators would be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

Someone had spray painted a penis on it.

“Seventy-five bucks for trespassing.” Shannon spat on the ground. “He must have hit his head pretty hard to come this way because I don’t have seventy-five bucks to chase him. I don’t have ten bucks to chase him.”

“Get over it. Do you see any cops? It’s not like we’re going to get a ticket for trespassing.” No. We were going to jail for hit and run, driving under the influence, assault with a vehicular weapon and trespassing.

Jail was not going to look good on my résumé.

He raked his fingers through his hair again. “Where the hell did he go? How could he get this far ahead of us?

“Maybe he’s behind us.” I cupped my mouth and hollered, “Ricky!” and just as quickly, regretted screaming into the bleak emptiness of the mountains. Something just felt wrong here. Something that kept the two of us quiet. My big voice carried on the wind and it only made us more desperately alone.

A twig snapped and I smacked Shannon in the shoulder. “Quit freaking me out.”

“Quit being so jumpy.” Shannon checked the ground like an Indian scout and pointed. “He went this way.”

Naturally, Ricky had chosen the grassy trail that disappeared into a tunnel of trees and rocks. I expected to see a line of breadcrumbs, but all I got was a few chunks of deer shit and some footprints. “Great. Of course, how do you know that’s from Ricky’s sneakers and not someone else’s?”

“I don’t. Maybe it’s one of those escaped convicts.”

The flashlight blinked out and I choked. “Knock it off, Shannon. You’re not funny.”

“Are you kidding me?” Shannon banged the flashlight against his hand. The light sputtered and then failed altogether. My hands went from adrenaline-numb to ice cold as Shannon fumed beside me. “Can you believe this shit?”

“Yes. I can believe anything right now. I can believe in the tooth fairy at this point. I even believe that you packed extra batteries.” My voice cracked as night swallowed the air.

“These are my extra batteries.”

My shoulder ached as if the temperature dropped another five degrees. I slid my backpack off, found my nuts and glared at the spot where Shannon should be. I willed the flashlight to work. Work. Work. When that failed, I let my eyes adjust to the gloom. “You’re always so prepared—"

His heavy hand landed on my sore shoulder.


“Shhh. Be still. Do you hear that?” Shannon yanked me against his chest. I was too surprised to do anything but dangle there until he led me into the thicket by the hand. He pulled me behind him close enough that my groin snuggled his ass with every step.

Except for the backpacks knocking me in the face and the blood on my hands…in any other circumstance, this would have been a dream come true.

Oh, fuck it. This was a dream come true. We were reenacting a moment straight from one of my favorite porno flick Boys & Bears.

Yes. This was absolutely the worst time to think about sex, but his calloused fingers gripped my wrist and he dragged me into the underbrush and holy shit, his firm ass wiggled against my firming crotch. I got hard—I wasn’t proud of it. My dick stiffened like a good not-so-little soldier as his hips kissed my groin and, once we stopped, his lips brushed my ear. “Shhh.”

Torture. Absolute fucking torture.

I closed my eyes and stifled a moan. In that movie, the big guy, Duke, had fucked his little camping buddy against a sturdy tree trunk while owls hooted and coyotes howled in the distance. Naturally, they’d remembered to bring lube and condoms, and through good lighting and amazing balance they’d shucked their clothes (except somehow they’d left their boots on) and screwed as furiously as animals against the rough bark of a towering oak. Or maple. And no one had gotten a splinter in the ass.

Even so, I had tweezers...

But that wasn’t on the program for this evening—so I got a grip.

We had a minor skirmish over who was shielding who. We could have alerted the mayor two towns north of here with the ruckus we made getting ourselves hidden behind our own sturdy tree trunk, until Shannon finally wriggled behind me and his crotch ground into my ass. He clapped onto my biceps with his strong hands. “Stay put, Allie.”

How could he be oblivious to the sexual nature of our position? I mean, really? He was on top of me, holding me and speaking in that rumbly voice. The way he said my name…Allie…it was like sex talk. It was all I could do not to slide my hands around his hips and drag him against me.

Our bags lay in the dirt, and I focused on staying alert and useful instead of being mind-blowingly turned on. The minutes slogged by, but the night sounds were a great distraction. Chirps, ticks, snaps and crackles. Wild animals. Wings. The wind blew endlessly through the treetops and pinecones landed in the dirt like shrapnel. Shannon’s breath waxed and waned, fluttering into my hair. My heart beat…heartily…and his chest pressed the full length of my back.

Frankly, he was a little closer than he needed to be.

Buy link:

October Winner!

The winner for October's Paw Print Tote that folds small to carry in your purse is:


Email me at lizzietleaf@comcast. net
with your snail mail info, K_sunshine

Deadline to claim prize is November 30th.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

A Big Welcome to V. Mark Covingtion!!

Today's guest is V. Mark Covington, an author who makes me laugh...a lot! We share a snarky sense of humor and crack each other up most of the time...even if others think we're nuts. Come to think of it we are both a little wacky!

Hi Lizzie, since you and I both write vampire stories, I figured I’d pass this one along, how I became acquainted with one of the characters in my book “Heavenly Pleasure”.

Going to Hollywood

Hollywood Cemetery is one of the most beautiful bone-yards in the United States. It is such a fixture of Richmond, Virginia that folks here still refer to dieing as ‘going to Hollywood’. Overlooking the James River rapids, Hollywood is the final resting place for three presidents (if you count Jefferson Davis, and why wouldn’t you), twenty five confederate generals and William Burke, an Irish school teacher who had among his teenage students a young Edgar Allen Poe. It is also the home to one William Wortham Pool (W.W. Pool) Richmond’s most notorious vampire. Born in April 1842, Poole was a bookkeeper in Richmond until his death in 1913. He was laid to rest in a fine mausoleum in Hollywood and he was not seen again until October 2, 1925. On that day, C&O locomotive #231, operated by Engineer, Tom Mason, was heading into Richmond to pass through the tunnel known as the Church Hill Tunnel on the northside of Richmond. The tunnel was a low-traffic route and there were workmen in the tunnel on this day digging to increased the size of the tunnel. As the 231 passed beneath 20th Street, a few interior bricks in the tunnel fell loose. These were from the old part of the structure of the tunnel roof and the falling bricks damaged some connections for the underground lighting system. The tunnel was plunged into four thousand feet of pitch-black darkness. Workmen that were were near the east entrance fled toward the east portal. Carpenters who managed to escape reported later that right after the tunnel lights went out, they felt a sudden and overwhelming, unstoppable gust of wind. Mason's fireman, Benjamin F. Mosby yelled to Mason, "Watch out, Tom! She's a-comin' in !!"

It was too late...

A hundred feet of loose dirt and tunnel beams came crashing down upon locomotive #231, engulfing the train, trapping Mason where he stood "at the throttle."
Men from all over the city rushed to the tunnel entrance to try to dig the survivors out. They reported that they could hear the screams of hurt workmen as they dug. After a few days, the diggers called off the rescue. The screams had stopped and progress was too slow to free the workmen for weeks. But they posted watchers near the entrance twenty-four hours a day to listen for any survivors trying to dig their way out.

A couple of days later a man was seen emerging from the tunnel. The man was reported by the tunnel guards to be covered in blood with jagged teeth and rolls of skin hanging from its muscular frame. Blood dripped from his mouth as though he was fresh from a flesh feast.
A nearby watchman sounded the alarm and men on the street gave chase. The ghoulish being raced off through the streets of Richmond toward the James River and was pursued until it disappeared in a tomb carved into a hill in Hollywood Cemetery, labeled W.W. Pool. That’s when the legend Mr. W.W ‘Bill’. Pool, the vampire, was born.”
Nothing was heard again from Mr. W.W. until 1979 when a reporter from the Richmond Times Dispatch received a phone call from a man claiming to be a vampire and requesting an interview at a local pub. This was three years after Ann Rice’s Interview with a Vampire was published and Mister Poole told the reporter that he wanted to give people an interview with a “real” vampire. The man who met the newspaper reporter then next evening at a corner bar was dressed in dirty jeans and an old sweatshirt that looked like Goodwill rejects. He told of his life and death in Richmond, his feasting during the tunnel collapse and how now he survived on the blood of rats and stray pets and made his home under the water level of the James River at the old Pumphouse. He talked about being tired of haunting the streets of Richmond, living forever in the darkness and claimed to have become more and more depressed as the years wore on. The reporter humored the gaunt, pale man, gazed at him with a bemused skepticism, until the man snapped off the corner of the inch and a half thick oak table like you and I would snap off the corner of a soda cracker while grinning a wolfish grin. The next time Mister Poole surfaced was in Feburary, 2010 with the publication of my book, Heavenly Pleasure by Aspen Mountain Press.

Excerpt from Heavenly Pleasure:

"I haven’t even told you the best one," said Eve, ignoring John’s invitation. "The
woman that lives two doors down beside Ted and Eric, she’s Indian or Pakistani or
something and she always wears a black cape and she has actual fangs. I think she works at a strip club. Ted told me her name is Kali something."
"A vampire?" asked John, "that’s weird. I actually met a real vampire last night."
"Yeah, right, you are so full of shit."
"No, no, I got an e-mail from this guy, Bill Poole, and he said he was a vampire and
he wanted to meet me. I met him at the Tap last night and he gave me this manuscript.
I guess it’s his autobiography. I haven’t had a chance to look at it, but he seemed
"You met a sincere vampire at The Tap last night?" Eve cocked her head
"Well, he said he was vampire, he had fangs and all, but he was kind of dressed
like a bum, dirty jeans and a sweatshirt, no tuxedo, not even a sports coat. He seemed really depressed, like suicidal."
"So you met a sincere, suicidal, grunge vampire at The Tap last night named Bill.
This is a character you made up for one of you books, right?"
"No, I really met the guy, he gave me a manuscript of his life story; he said he was
ending it all and he wanted someone to tell his story after he was gone. He seemed like a nice guy."
"A nice, sincere, suicidal, grunge, vampire named Bill," said Eve shaking her head.
"John, this is too much. You’re making this shit up."

So, Bill, if you’re out there I’d love to sign your copy of my book. I think I’ll inscribe it “To Bill Pool, no, I’m not making this shit up.” Maybe someday they will buy the film rights to Heavenly Pleasure, and make the movie, then Mr. W.W. Pool will again, “go to Hollywood.”

V. Mark Covington lives in Richmond, Virginia where he writes novels exploring the cosmically comical nature of the universe, the purpose of which is to create someone who lives in Richmond, Virginia and writes novels exploring the cosmically comical nature of the universe.
Check out his website at:

Monday, October 25, 2010

A Little Humor for Today

Today I'm sharing an article a friend sent to me. No matter ones age, there are times when most of us shudder when we have to call about an issue that will put us in an endless round of pushing buttons to get yet one more recorded instruction. Or have had issue with a bank on something from a missed deposit or charges we feel unfair. Below is how one elderly lady handled the situation and it gave me a good laugh. Hats off to her for being innovative on a situation that had her thoroughly pissed off.

Older Lady's Letter to Bank

Shown below is an actual letter that was sent to a bank by an Older woman. The bank manager thought it amusing enough to have it published in the New York Times.

Dear Sir:

I am writing to thank you for bouncing my check with which I endeavored to pay my plumber last month.

By my calculations, three nanoseconds must have elapsed between his presenting the check and the arrival in my account of the funds needed to honor it..

I refer, of course, to the automatic monthly deposit of my entire pension, an arrangement which, I admit, has been in place for only eight years.

You are to be commended for seizing that brief window of opportunity, and also for debiting my account $30 by way of penalty for the inconvenience caused to your bank.

My thankfulness springs from the manner in which this incident has caused me to rethink my errant financial ways.
I noticed that whereas I personally answer your telephone calls and letters, --- when I try to contact you, I am confronted by the impersonal, overcharging, pre-recorded, faceless entity which your bank has become.

From now on, I, like you, choose only to deal with a flesh-and-blood person.

My mortgage and loan repayments will therefore and hereafter no longer be automatic, but will arrive at your bank, by check, addressed personally and confidentially to an employee at your bank whom you must nominate.

Be aware that it is an offense under the Postal Act for any other person to open such an envelope.

Please find attached an Application Contact which I require your chosen employee to complete.
I am sorry it runs to eight pages, but in order that I know as much about him or her as your bank knows about me, there is no alternative.

Please note that all copies of his or her medical history must be countersigned by a Notary Public, and the mandatory details of his/her financial situation (income, debts, assets and liabilities) must be accompanied by documented proof.

In due course, at MY convenience, I will issue your employee with a PIN number which he/she must quote in dealings with me.

I regret that it cannot be shorter than 28 digits but, again, I have modeled it on the number of button presses required of me to access my account balance on your phone bank service.

As they say, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

Let me level the playing field even further.

When you call me, press buttons as follows:


#1. To make an appointment to see me

#2. To query a missing payment.

#3. To transfer the call to my living room in case I am there.

#4. To transfer the call to my bedroom in case I am sleeping

#5. To transfer the call to my toilet in case I am attending to nature.

#6.. To transfer the call to my mobile phone if I am not at home

#7. To leave a message on my computer, a password to access my computer is required.

Password will be communicated to you at a later date to that Authorized Contact mentioned earlier.

#8. To return to the main menu and to listen to options 1 through 7.

#9. To make a general complaint or inquiry.

The contact will then be put on hold, pending the attention of my automated answering service.
#10. This is a second reminder to press* for English.

While this may, on occasion, involve a lengthy wait, uplifting music will play for the duration of the call.

Regrettably, but again following your example, I must also levy an establishment fee to cover the setting up of this new arrangement.

May I wish you a happy, if ever so slightly less prosperous New Year?

Your Humble Client

And remember: Don 't make old People mad.

We don't like being old in the first place, so it doesn't take much to piss us off.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Welcome Victoria Blisse

Victoria Blisse is delightful! I’ve come to know her through Facebook posts and emails and love her sense of humour as well as her talent. She graciously consented to share her thoughts and snippets of her work with us here today. Join me in welcoming Victoria!

Also, one lucky commentor will will a copy of Moon Shy so make sure to at least say "Hi" to this fabulous author. So, here's Victoria!

Victoria Blisse is a mother, wife, Christian, Manchester United fan and erotica writer. She is equally at home behind a laptop or a cooker and she loves to create stories, poems, cakes and biscuits that make people happy.

She was born near Manchester, England and her northern English quirkiness shows through in all of her stories. Passion, love and laughter fill her works, just as they fill her busy life

STOP! Vampire Time

I do hope MC Hammer will forgive me for messing with the perfection of his song title, but I just couldn’t resist. Hello, I’m Victoria Blisse and I’m here on Lizzie’s blog (Thanks for having me) to talk about vampires. Hot, sexy vampires which are my favourite kind.

Last year I wrote a werewolf story (Moon Shy, you can win a copy of it for commenting on this post) and that opened up the possibilities of writing paranormal stories to me. Before that I’d kept to contemporary settings and so it was quite a challenge to write a werewolf but it was fun.
So next, I worked on a vampire. I got the original inspiration crossing the Yorkshire moors to Whitby and then I wrote The Point. Where Hugh, a Vampire of a hundred years or more meets Elizabeth, a doctor on holiday who falls and twists her ankle in a field behind Hugh’s home. He comes to her rescue and things lead on from there.

Hugh has established a club for vampires and humans to meet in, called The Point. It’s a place where vampires can meet humans. Hugh discovered that human blood after orgasm is more satisfying to a vampire. So if a person orgasms, just ten seconds of their blood is enough to satisfy a vampire’s blood lust. At The Point vampires pay humans to have sex with them and then allow them to suck their blood. It is the most civilised way for them to satisfy their needs without killing.

The second book in my Point Vamp series came out on Monday. It’s called Stopping Point and revolves around Hugh’s vampire club. Josh is attacked one night by what he imagines is a defenceless, curvy beauty who actually is a vampire. He ends up craving blood and not food and he just can’t understand why. Until he attacks a man and kills him by sucking his blood.

He finds Cara, his Sire and starts to find things out about vampires and as they say a little knowledge is a terrible thing and it goes straight to Josh’s head. He decides to turn his best friends so they can live in eternal friendship together. The plan does not go quite right when the girls Jos lures back to his flat know all about vampires and the ten second rule, which up until that point Josh knew nothing about. His friends insist on going to the club where the rules originate so they do not have to kill people to satisfy their new, and unwanted, blood lust.

So in The Point I had one hot vampire, in Stopping Point I have three. I wonder how many I’ll manage to fit into Point Vamp Book three which I am going to write during the writing madness of NaNoWriMo in November? I have rather warmed to vampires and writing them. There is something addictive about them.

If you want to sample my vampires, you can find a free read at Total-E-Bound called To Comfort a Vampire. It’s a short story set at The Point.

Also, my story First Time Fang Bang which is currently in the Just One Bite contest at All Romance Ebooks is set at The Point. Please do pop over and read it then vote, if you wouldn’t mind. If you let me know you’ve voted victoria@ victoriablisse. co. uk (no spaces) I’ll send you 2 more free reads as a thank you.

So, do you enjoy vampires? Do you have a favourite vampire or story involving them? Also how do you like your vampires? Do you prefer the traditional cross hating, sunlight burning vamp or do you like the more modern vamps who can vary massively from the traditional idea? Many of them can even withstand sunlight these days and have no problem with crucifixes at all. I look forward to hearing your views. Also if you have any other questions for me, feel free to ask and remember, if you comment you’ll be put in a draw to win a copy of Moon Shy. A perfect Halloween read!

To read more about Moon Shy:

Stopping Point Blurb:

Book two in the Point Vamp Series

Josh is a vampire he just doesn't quite know it yet.

He is confused and his voluptuous sire, Cara is far too busy being mysterious to really help him unlock the secrets of his Afterlife. However, he pieces it together by himself and decides to turn his best mates into Vampires too. This doesn't quite go to plan but he does discover The Point and its unique, ten-second rule.

Cara does not approve of Josh visiting The Point but that night she turns up at his door bloodied and much more dead than usual, and accepts Josh's help to escape from her much older and much crazier Sire Leopold. How is Josh going to defeat an older, wiser and more powerful vampire? He hasn't a clue but for Cara he is willing to find out.

Stopping Point Excerpt:

“No, really, Larry, if you’re caught they’ll sack you. You know there’s a smoking corner
over the other side.”
“I know. Can’t be arsed.” He shrugged again and Josh walked up closer. Larry smelt
like a buffet of good meats.
“Whatever, mate, fuck off.” Josh stood directly in front of the short driver and looked
down at him.
Larry flicked the ash from his cigarette and stood stock still.
“I mean it, Larry, I’m in a fucking weird mood today and if you don’t move soon…”
Larry didn’t move and Josh couldn’t take the gnawing any more. He pounced and bit
into Larry’s neck. Larry moaned and pressed his body into Josh’s. He had a hard-on.
“Whoa, tiger, I like it rough but you know, take it slow.”
But Josh couldn’t take it slow. As much as the feel of Larry’s hardness on his thigh made him sick, he kept on sucking because the blood tasted like the best meal he’d ever had. He kept sucking and sucking and sucking until Larry slumped against him and the delicious taste stopped.
As soon as he stepped back, Josh was appalled at what he’d done. He’d killed a man.
He’d drunk his blood. He ran a hand over his face and sure enough, blood was smeared across his palm when he looked at it. He was a monster. He ran to the employee toilets and washed his face. When he looked in the mirror, he could see his teeth were bigger, whiter and fuck, fangs sat comfortably at the top of his mouth as if they’d always been there.
Josh began to put the pieces together and it all started to make some kind of weird sense. He was a vampire. The bitch last night had been one, too, and she’d not just sucked his blood, she’d obviously given him some of hers, as well. That’s how they made vampires,
Well, if anything he’d seen in horror movies was true, it was. So the steak smells, the cravings and the blood sucking of Larry the lorry driver were all connected. He was a fucking vampire. Shit.

Links to Victoria's contest and some of her books:

First Time Fang Bang:

To Comfort a Vampire link:

The Point:

Monday, October 18, 2010

The Tao of Me

I received a note from one of my oldest friends a while back. We don’t get to see each other often these days since we live in different cities, but the friendship is still strong. She probably knows the heart and soul of me better than anyone, with my husband ranking a close second. The longer track record with her, gives her insight into the me before I evolved into who I am now and yes, it does seem like another lifetime ago.

Anyway, her note said she had just read Struck by Lightning and Isabella made her feel like I was in the room with her. This brought me up short. Interviewers sometimes ask if my characters are like me and my answer is “ I don’t think so,” and thought I was correct. Unable to let her comment go, I called my friend and asked for a better explanation.

“Yes,” she contends, Isabella is a lot of me. Smart mouthed and with an attitude. She was willing to concede I’m not like that all the time, but there are those moments. (Thinking she needs to look in the mirror here as she has her moments, too…LOL)

After hanging up, I spent some time mulling over what she said and the questions from past interviewers about my characters’ personalities in an attempt to tap into the Tao of path, my way. As a writer, I probably bring more of me to the people I create than I originally thought. If not the me that I am now, then the me I have been and the one I want to become. With that in mind, I only hope I can become as strong as some of the characters I have planned for future books.

What about you? Do you consider yourself a strong woman or one in process?


Thursday, October 14, 2010

Featured Today --- Raine Delight!

I know Raine by other names, but whatever name she's goes by at any given moment, she's one terrific lady! Delightful, caring and strong, she is a great individual that I'm proud to call friend. Wearer of many hats, I only wish I had half her energy!!!!

And Raine is picking a winner from those who comment today to receive a PDF of Haunting Magic! You don't want to miss out on this!!!!!!

Raine Delight is a pseudonym of a self professed book lover and after one too many TSTL characters, decided to see if she could write something a little better. Well many drafts later, Devon Falls series came to together. It was originally was to be one book but somehow ended up to 4 with a 5th and 6th one being planned for sometime in 2010. I write a paranormal contemporary series for Aspen Mountain and I am also branching out to other genres as I continue to listen to the voices in my head. Check out my book pages to see what is going on with me. My muse is a male nut who likes to leave me to go sip mai tais on the beach and leave me foundering for words; though eventually he takes pity on me and gets my words flowing and characters start settling down.

Personal notes: I live with my own boytoy and two kids. I love Johnny Depp movies and enjoy hiking, reading and watching movies with my family.

My links:

Raine’s Book Nook Blog:

Author/Reader Loop:
Email me:

Where to buy my books:

Aspen Mountain Press:
All Romance E-books (Are):
1Romance E-books:
Amazon Kindle:

Devon Falls 5: Haunting Magic
Buy at Aspen Mountain Press:
Check out the Trailer at
A werewolf claims his mate in Devon Falls.

Rodrick Dracon is the twin heir to the Dragon Inn. When he finds himself longing for a mate after being footloose and fancy free, he finds himself drawn to the most obnoxious, brassy woman he has ever met: Jaxon Sinclair. She is the one woman who doesn't melt when he goes by or hangs on his every word. She is just aggravating and down right sexy as sin! Soon the sparks fly, passion goes into boiling and Halloween approaches. Can a wolf shifter get this woman to heel before the full moon? Or can Jax turn the tables on this ladies man and tame the wolf?

Adult Excerpt:

Jax’s fingers traced the outline of his hard cock as she tried to still her raged breath. She could still feel the way his lips captured hers and she wanted more. Her nipples ached and her pussy was dripping wet, going down her thighs. She didn’t know what to do or say but she knew she wanted more of him and she wanted Rod naked very soon if he kept this up.
“I…” Jax tried to talk but her throat was dry and her breath kept hitching every time he swirled that tongue of his on her ear lobe and then nipped it. Swallowing hard, she tried again to speak, though if he kept twirling his tongue along her ear lobe, she was going to do something drastic very soon. All this tension was making her stomach clench and her breasts felt achy from wanting to be touched.
His body felt like it was cast from granite, hard and unyielding though each time she traced her fingers along the hard ridge in his jeans, she heard him groan. Jax debated if she should let this go further when all thought of caution went flying out the window as he nibbled on that one particular spot between her shoulder and neck. It was like a time bomb exploded inside her. He made her feel like she was going to combust. She couldn’t stop the way her body melted into his or the moan that seemed to come from deep inside her. She wanted more and she was going to get it, regardless of the consequences.
Jax grabbed his t-shirt with both hands and yanked it over his head. The pale skin gleamed in the light and she drooled over the way his abs rippled. She slid her hands across his chest, marveling at the way his body looked to her eyes and how his nipples pointed out when she teased them with her fingernails. With just his jeans on and no shirt, he looked like a wild god, ready for his sacrifice, and Jax was more than willing to sacrifice herself. If he didn’t get naked soon, she was going to go up in flames, Jax thought as she nipped his lips with her teeth. Hearing his breath hitch each time she traced a path around his navel had her aching to explore even more. Flipping the top button of his jeans, she teased Rodrick as she looked at him with her eyes at half mast, passion glazing in them. She slid her fingernail across his nipple, causing him to tighten his grip on her waist. Slowly, she slid the zipper down and her breath hitched as she saw his cock straining to get free. He was utterly naked under the jeans and Jax was about to scream as her eyes took it in. Her panties were so drenched that her juices were sliding down her legs, coating the inside of her thighs.
Jax slid her fingers around the waist of his jeans and as her eyes drank in the way ardor had him in its hungry grip, she slid one finger over the ridge of him, teasing and tempting him with her light touch.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Brenda Williamson is our Featured Guest!

Today's featured guest is Brenda Williamson. Brenda is a very talented lady and in addition to being a fan, I've enjoyed getting to know her. Love her sense of humor and I only wish I had her work discipline. Talk about productive!!!!!

Also, anyone who comments to Brenda's post will be entered into the drawing for a copy of Naked Sin, the book she's sharing with us here today!

I'm Brenda Williamson and this is life's resume! It ain't much but it's about all there is since I use 60-80 hours a week to write. I'm married and have one son. I was born October 31, a long time ago and I like Halloween is on my birthday. It's my favorite holiday.

I'm a full-time writer, when I'm not picking up dishes, dirty laundry, muddy shoes, cooking, washing windows, mowing weeds, & cleaning up everything my husband and son don't. Okay scratch that, I leave the chores for house fairies to do and they're not very good at their job.
When I'm not working on something writing related, I enjoy reading, swimming and watching programs like Survivor, Big Brother, CSI, All the Law & Order shows, Cold Case, Amazing Race, and Monk.

I have a hobby farm full of animals and a house full of cats. Luckily, since my husband and I are in the contracting business, I reaped the benefits of having a huge house to fit all my hobbies including taking in stray felines & collecting books.

I've written for more years than I should say, but lets just say it started in the 1970's and we'll not get into just how old I am. I started out a poet and have had hundreds of poems published in magazines. I dabbled with short stories and non-fiction, yet novels were a lingering attraction.

After the turn of the twenty-first century I aimed my attention at writing longer works. E-publishing gave me leeway in what I wanted to publish and erotic romance became a big word in my house as I reworked old stories to fit the genre.

I love writing stories and with a supportive family, I spend endless hours doing what I love. I believe I have the perfect life... if we don't count I want to be a billionaire.

Some of my publishers include, Samhain Publishing, Red Sage, Loose-id, Liquid Silver Books, Whiskey Creek Press Torrid, Aspen Mountain Publishing and Mojocastle.

I'm a Pan member of Romance Writers Association and their special interest chapters that include: P.A.S.I.C., Passion Ink, Beau Monde, K.O.D, Hearts Thru History, E.S.P.A.N., Celtic Hearts, RWA Online, F.F.&P., and From The Heart.

I'm also a member of The Authors Guild, Novels, Ink., Author's Den, The Romance Studio, and Historical Romance Club.

Naked Sin
by Brenda Williamson

ISBN: 9781603105194 1603105190

Available at Red Sage Publishing (

When Britt Colquinn’s husband is killed during an ordinary intergalactic cargo run while on the spacecraft, The Chelonian, she has more than one reason to take on the new job as a servitor on the vessel. Times what they are, money is lean, so besides a roof over her head, she needs to find out whether the ship’s commander is at fault for making her a widow. Only her first meeting with handsome, Ashton “Ly” Lygart raises a different set of questions—how skilful is he in bed, and are his lips as kissable as they look?

Ly hasn’t seen such beauty for a long time, and when he, along with his second in command, Major Crane embark on a torrid sexual threesome with Britt, it’s with the intent of pleasure. He never thought he’d experience jealousy, and finds himself at odds with his feelings over whether or not he can trust that Britt’s not working for his enemy against him. As a smuggler, he should practice caution. As a man, desire takes control.

Will Ly risk his ownership of The Chelonian for love, or will Britt destroy his life?


Three docking bays down, a beautiful woman toted a small canvas bag, and walked along, apparently reading the name on the side of each transport.

“That can’t be her, do you think?” Ly mopped his brow with the back of his hand.

He had not seen perfection in the image of a woman for a long time.

“Well there aren’t too many women strolling about acting more a tourist than a crewman.”
Before Ly could say, “go get her”, Gavin took the initiative.

Ly watched the major take long, quick strides within the bounds of his peripheral vision. The real aim of his stare remained on the stunning creature maneuvering around steel containers of cargo. Short skirt, long legs, made her graceful glide appear as if she floated like an angel with wings.

His habit of inventorying assets had him start at her feet and work his way up. This wasn’t cargo, so he examined her positive features for how they’d benefit him.

Her slender legs were just right for wrapping his waist. The narrow curve of her hips would make for an easier grip when he held her up against a wall while thrusting into her feminine recesses. Then, as he followed the small midsection, flaring out along her ribcage, he caught just a glimpse of her ample chest before Gavin became an obstacle.

Ly rubbed his hand over his mouth, wiping away the wet feel of drool from the corners. Ella didn’t make him anticipate her presence. The new servitor stirred his desires the moment he had heard about her. Seeing her fueled those male instincts to pounce. If only Gavin wasn’t faster, he could have been the one to slide his arm around her back and make the smile she had appear.

The Major walked her towards him. Ly discarded his envy and took another long appreciative look at the lovely lady. From his perspective, he had the chance to study her feminine features. Her golden blonde hair and the soft lines to her face were that of a goddess. His brain already raced with plans to feel the shape of her mouth on his cock while her hair dusted his body as she sucked on him.
Resisting the urge to adjust his cock inside the snug bodysuit, he perched his hand on his hips and watched her graceful pace. The slow moves captivated him, reeling him into a deeper fantasy. He liked a long slow orgasm. This woman presented him with the notion she might fill his need to make love to her, even if it were just pretend.

Ly swallowed hard, trying to put on his best businesslike expression when he noticed she was staring at him.

“Commander, this is Britt Colquinn.” Gavin announced.
The Major’s eager tone swirled excitement around him.
“Miss Colquinn.” Ly clenched his jaw and nodded his greeting.

“It’s nice to meet you, Commander Lygart.” Britt’s voice floated over him, caressing his body without a single touch, reaching inside him with a gentle stroke.

He waved crewman Bannery over to them.

“I hope you find your position here a rewarding one.”

“Thank you.” Britt’s lashes fluttered with a coy innocence.

He took a deep breath. There seemed to be no end to his ragging libido’s power of speculation. What lay beneath Britt’s clothes? Was her skin silky? From the fit of the fabric concealing parts of her, he imaged she had a taut belly and firm breasts. She turned sideways and looked up at his ship. The curve of her bottom made his palm itchy. He wanted to grab her ass and pull her into his aching groin.

“It’s very big,” she commented, ending his distracted silence.

Her awestruck gaze at his spacecraft flooded another part of him with heat. His heart thumped harder within the cage of his ribs. Unable to take his eyes off Britt’s glowing face, Ly relived an enthralling pride he had for the vessel through her expression.

“Are there a lot of men onboard?” She turned her head and her gaze met his.

“More than enough, I’m sure,” he answered abruptly, not liking the reason behind the query.

Britt’s brow wrinkled for a moment, her forehead creased with tiny lines. Was there something else she wanted to ask? Did something puzzle her? What did she want him to do, give her an exact count of how many men would seek her service? Thinking about anyone other than himself fucking her young, hot body, gave him heartburn, or something akin to it.

“Bannery, take Miss Colquinn to the servitor quarters,” he ordered. “Have Ella explain everything about the position, and pass on the word, she’s not on duty until I say so.”

“Aye, Commander.” Bannery took the bag from Gavin and led Britt away.

Ly’s attention remained concentrated on her as she walked along, examining his ship. While passing under the body, she reached out so her fingers slid over the sleek metal hull, caressing the surface. She fondled bolts and swept circles in the oiled finish.

He imagined her taking the same care with touching him. A shudder coursed through him as he pictured her fingers raking his abdomen, and scratching into the hair at the base of his cock. How good did she give head? Her lips were ripe for plundering—the pink just right for kissing the sheath of his erection.

However, beyond his lustful cravings, he had visions of giving her an equal amount of pleasure. He’d take his time and explore every contour to her well-shaped body. Caressing and kneading her flesh, his greatest desires were to make her beg him for more.

When Britt began her ascent up the ramp, she paused and turned her head. His gaze locked to hers, and for several seconds she stared at him as if she’d miss him once she went aboard. At least that’s what he pretended he saw because it would mirror how he felt at that moment.
She gave him a slight smile and then disappeared into the ship. Shuddering, Ly pressed his hand against his aroused cock bulging against the fabric of his jumpsuit. The heat that had coursed from his hard as rock scrotum into his rigid shaft backed down.

“You’re not thinking of letting this crew have her, are you?” Gavin whispered over his shoulder.
“Major Crane, Miss Colquinn is a professional. I’m sure she can handle them.”

“Whatever you say, Commander.” He chuckled.

Ly dropped his hand away from his swollen cock. The tingling sensation in his sac continued to keep his balls draw up tight in frustration. Britt’s faint smile almost did him in and he had to turn away so she’d not see him lose control.

Gavin’s downward look helped chill his racing blood.

“See you onboard, Commander.” The Major slapped a hand on his shoulder and left him standing there, fighting a raging hard-on.

“Yeah, uh-huh. Be there in a minute,” he grumbled.

Ly turned from the ship. He stroked his jaw in thought, worried how Britt’s presence on the ship would distract him. The Major had been right. There was no way in hell any man was going to touch what he coveted.
Learn more about Brenda's great books by visiting her website

Monday, October 4, 2010

Guest Bloggers for October

Here is a list of our guests coming in October.

October 7th ....Brenda Williamson

October 14th ....Raine Delight

October 21st .... Victoria Blisse

October 28th...LB Gregg

Please stop by and say hello to all of these terrific authors!


Friday, October 1, 2010

Mary me

Mary Preston is the winner of the September name draw!

Mary, you've won a scarf...send me your snail mail info at

Thanks and congratulations!!!!


Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Fabulous Lena Austin & Chance to Win!

I had the pleasure of meeting Lean Austin when she, Lucynda Storey and myself were taking our first tentative steps into the world of writing. The three of us met at a local writers group and hit it off immediately. Before the meeting broke up, we decided to become critique partners and spent several years sharing our successes and rejections. As life tends to do, things changed. Lena moved away and connected with a new critique group, Lucynda became a publisher and I continue to muddle through with writing, still in the same location and same desk. But the one thing that hasn't changed is our friendship, love and respect of each other. I'm delighted to have Lena here to share her latest release with us.

Sit back and enjoy the talents of Miss Lena Austin!

Lena is offering a PDF of Dire Wolves: Silence, to be drawn from today's commenters.


“One funeral wasn’t enough for you?” said the kidnapper’s note…

Deafened in an attempted murder, Detective Cameron Douglas is involuntarily retired from the force, despite his willingness to continue with the investigation of the murder of the mayor’s secretary. Now, it’s personal.

ENT therapist Noel Miller is a vampire with a few scars of his own. He wants to be more than Cam’s interpreter and instructor in deaf culture. He could help Cam, if only the werewolf will let him into his life and heart.

Then the murderer strikes again. Right at Cam.


“Danse Macabre” was a lousy choice for a ring tone, but Detective Cameron Douglas always thought about it when he had the least amount of time to change the ring to something else. The tune was the last he’d ever hear. Cam didn’t know that sad fact, or he’d have changed the ring sooner.

Cam snatched the phone out of his pocket and flipped it open as soon as he saw it was his boss, Lt. Kraynak. “Hey, Mark! You caught me just leaving the mayor’s office.”

“Yeah?” Mark’s voice always sounded nervous, but at that moment, he sounded as squeaky as a girl. Cam always wondered if Mark was as closet gay as Cam himself. “How’d it go?”

Cam sighed. The investigation into the death of the mayor’s secretary, Margaret Lund, was supposed to be kept very quiet and low-key. “We got the blood from her apartment at the lab, looking for DNA. They seem to be consistent with the defensive marks found on her body despite floating around in the St. John’s River for a while. I’ve got a few good leads.”

He had to be vague. Cam couldn’t exactly tell his boss he was a werewolf and he’d caught an odd, masculine scent in Margaret’s apartment. He knew any sort of masculine odor didn’t belong in that apartment because Margaret and his mother had been lovers for over twenty years. Not exactly what you want the whole world to know. Mom had been in the closet all her life, and he wasn’t about to out her when she was mourning “Aunt Maggie’s” death. Dad would turn over in his grave, the day care she’d run for fifteen years would close, and her life would be in ruins. What she and Maggie had enjoyed just wasn’t ever going to be public, and that wasn’t admissible evidence anyway.

He could see it now. Him, on the witness stand. “Yes, Your Honor. I’m a werewolf you see, and I sniffed this odor…” He winced, even to himself.

“I don’t like it, Cam. You shouldn’t be on this case. Ms. Lund was your mother’s best friend. You could be called prejudiced in court.” Mark popped another gumball in his mouth. Cam heard it rattle against his teeth before it crackled as he chewed it into oblivion. Mark’d been trying to quit smoking again, and kept a gumball bank on his desk.

“I don’t like it, either, Mark. Where His Honor got the idea I’d be the only detective who could do the job is beyond me.” Cam was in sight of his car at last. The covered parking garage across the street from City Hall was a piece of shit like all the rest of downtown. Half the security cameras didn’t work at the best of times, and the roof leaked whenever it rained. So where was he parked? On the roof. In the rain. Of course. So he was wet. It was Florida. Not like he would melt. He was a werewolf, not a witch, and this wasn't Hollyweird.

The beep in his ear made him jump, and the caller ID told him it was Mom. "Hey, I'm at my car. Hang on a sec." Cam flipped over to his mother’s call and sat down on a bench about fifty feet from his car, in the shelter covering the elevator. "Hi, Mom." He frowned and noticed the hood of his car was slightly ajar. That was odd. He distinctly remembered changing the oil the previous Sunday and slamming the hood closed because he hated working in the hot sun.

He never heard her answer. Hell, he never heard anything except the biggest boom on the planet.