Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Recap of Sunday's Fun

Today's guest ran into a time problem and I can understand how life can get in the way. I miss a few of my own Monday blogs for that very reason and since this week was a 'missed Monday' because I ended up sick, thought I'd use today.
Sunday was my first ever book launch party to celebrate the print release of Beyond Magic. Anxious that no one would show, I plunged forward and so glad I did. Thank you to all the friends, family and a few people I didn't know who showed up! Lots of laughter and eating, plus all of the books from the original box sold and another had to be opened.
A number who sent RSVPs didn't make it, but heard from some later and various things happened in their world. It was great to have them ask 'When and where is your next signing" and just that question gives me hope for the future ones set and I'm in the process of setting.
Bottom line...would I do another party like this again? Not for every book release because the time invested in preparing leads takes away from writing. But for a new series or the first book of a new genre (I'm working on one now), then yes. It is a fun experience and well worth the energy and dollars invested.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Winner of Jenika Snow's question

Hi all, Thank you for the great answers to Jenika's question

The winner pulled out of Jenika's hat is


Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Welcome Lynn Crain!

We're fortunate to have Lynn Crain as our guest today! Lynn's varied background and experiences certainly give her a lot of knowledge to drawn from. No wonder her books are so fascinating!

Her blog about rediscovering her passion for writing and life is inspiring, plus she share tips on how to keep the muse alive. Be sure to check it out~


Lynn Crain realized at an early age she wanted to write. She took the long way to that goal by doing a variety of things like nursing, geologist, technical writer and computer manager. Even though she is no longer in the medical field, Lynn has studied natural medicine and remedies for years. She is currently getting her Ph.D. in natural medicine with an emphasis on historical medicine and is still utterly fascinated with all things medical. During her free time she weaves fantasy, futuristic and paranormal tales as well as erotic stories for various publishers. She lives in the very hot southwest with her husband, son, one dog, three cats and a snake named Sandune. She is a past board member of the Romance Writers of America, past VP of EPIC and current EPPIEs Chairman for EPIC.

She loves hearing from her readers at





Yahoo Group:



eXtasy Books:

Loose Id:

Back In The Saddle

Now many of you who don’t know me will be wondering what I’m talking about. Those of you who do wonder when I was ever out of the saddle.

Well…for both of you groups, I was definitely out of the saddle. What do I mean? you may ask. For me it is obvious. Quite a few years ago, I became disillusioned with life. And writing.

Not that I didn’t want to do either…no, I wanted to write and live life to the fullest. I was disillusioned with the fact that all I did was work. All I did was have a business. I never seemed to have time for any of the things that I loved. Or those that I loved.

Then 9/11 happened. I along with millions watched in horror as icons for our freedom and financial well-being were toppled in front of my eyes. To top it all off, it was my niece’s birthday. I can remember thinking, Oh hell…what a day. I can remember thinking, My god…what’s this world coming to? I can remember thinking, This changes everything.

And suddenly, I was thinking much clearer. I was thinking with the part of myself that had been shut off by business deals and bottom lines. Suddenly, I thought about what mattered most in my life: my family and my writing. I had neglected both for many months.

My husband and I no longer took those long walks. My youngest son and I only argued about homework leaving very little time for anything else. My oldest was a stranger I barely knew. One of my good friends, who I considered a sister, and I fought constantly about the business. God only knew when I had last called my brother and his family. And my latest characters at the time, Trista and Alfred, were languishing in the limbo state of barely finished with many chapters waiting for revision.

Suddenly, I found myself on the road to recovery. Recovery of my craft.

The business, which printed financial documents for a mainstay, suddenly couldn’t earn its keep and the following April it was decided to close it at the end of May. I started to reconnect with those I loved. I now try to take a walk with my husband at least once a week. I care for my youngest everyday…and he drives me crazy but I love it. I love it when my oldest comes in to tell me about his latest accomplishment. Currently, they are his two new sons!  My friend and I planned critique sessions.

Trista and Alfred are also on the road to recovery. Along with them, I write at least one article, possibly one poem, come up with some ideas and plan for my next full day, or week if it’s Sunday, of writing. I’m going to write for a living…even though I may need an outside job to keep the hubby happy and pay for my share of the bills. (As of this update, this has come to pass and I can say I’m happier than ever...woohoo!)

This time I will make it…I have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

Now having said all that, here are some tips to keep the writing muse alive. Because, even with all I’ve been through, the muse never left me.

1. Writing doesn’t take as much time as you think.

All you need is to give it a little portion of each day. Are there times when you are waiting for something? Like a doctor’s appointment? Your kids? Is there a television show you can live without? If you answer yes to any of these questions, writing can be part of your daily routine. Write things down in a journal, then transcribe them when you used to watch that TV show.

2. Look at the markets weekly.

The markets change daily. This is because of the Internet. Today, writers have more opportunities than ever before. Exploring those markets will usually kick start an idea which will then lead to you finding more time to write. I personally get up each morning and head for my computer. Once I’ve waded through the junk mail, I start looking for new and interesting markets for my work.

3. Make a weekly plan.

I say weekly plan, because life can be so uncertain any more. I tend to plan my life at least 6 months out but for writing I do it weekly and sometimes even daily when I have a deadline. I start on Sunday evening looking at all the guidelines I printed during the week. I then check to see if I’ve written anything that will fit the guidelines. If I don’t have anything, I ask myself if I want to write it. If I do, I put it in the weekly calendar. I plan to have the article done that same day. I then put it down for revision the next day and submission the day after that.

While this may seem ambitious, it’s the only way that I can keep focused and on track. Otherwise, I tend to never get anything done.

4. Read.

I try to read something new everyday. With the Internet, you can read articles and reviews or just about anything. I reserve my evenings for my pleasure reading or study.

5. Research.

I have certain things that interest me…such as medieval medicine. I have always been fascinated with how today’s medical system works in relation to how it really started. Because of that I am constantly reading on this subject. It gives me get ideas for some stories as well a good read about something I thoroughly enjoy.

6. Networking.

Like attracts like. I cannot stress this enough. We are what we eat and whom we hang out with. Laugh you may but it is true. By this I mean, if you truly want to be a writer you will need to network with other writers. This can be done through meetings or conferences, both formal and informal. If you want to write…hang out with writers. Strive to do…not just be a wannabe.

7. Write.Write.Write.

Remember to write, write, write. It’s what makes you a writer.

Hopefully, I’ve given you some bits of wisdom that you can use in your writing life. Life is what life is…we can’t always change it, but we can shape what comes our way. We can make things happen…positive things. And like the old saying goes, it has to start with you. You have to make the changes, you have to want to write, and you have to do it.

And for this woman…I’m back in the saddle again. Permanently.

Anybody got any bag balm?


The Haunting of Maggie Grey
Available at eXtasy Books
Buy at:
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Maggie Grey had wanted to be a doctor all her life. She achieved her dream along with her husband, Justin. Together they planned to build a clinic on his ancestral home on the Isle of Skye in Scotland. But women doctors in the year 1882 didn't have many options and even fewer if they were widowed like she had been recently. Arriving in England to visit Elizabeth Blackwell, founder of the London Medical School for Woman, she is discouraged to find that the only real health care on the remote Isle of Skye will be herself, a few aging doctors as well as veterinary doctors.

But she must build a clinic there to escape her memories and fulfill her late husband's dream. Maggie goes by train and boat to the rather bleak Isle of Skye. The island is almost as barren as she feels and she isn't sure if she can even fit in. Add the fact that her dead husband is haunting her with the request for her to fall in love again and she knows she's losing her mind.

But the people of Skye need her…and she is determined not to let them down...but they are slow to accept a widowed woman doctor. Now if she were married again…that would be a different matter…and her dead husband, Justin, knows just the right man for the job, Conall MacGryman, his childhood friend and cousin, a veterinary for the island. Now all Justin has to do is to convince Maggie to give the man a chance so she can fall in love again…for both their sakes.

Jenika Snow Asks an Interesting Question of Readers

Today, our guest is Jenika Snow, multi-talented author and one busy lady! Thank you for spending time with us today, Jenika and for the most interesting question you pose in your blog. Readers, please share your thoughts on her question!

Leave a comment by midnight February 20th to enter a drawing for an eBook (winner's choice) by Jenkia Snow.

Jenika is just your average woman. She lives in the too hot northeast with her husband and their young daughter. Thankfully, he shares her unusual sense of humor and naughty nature so finding material for her stories isn't a problem.

Along with taking care of their daughter, they have to keep an eye on Milo and Otis, their spunky cats. When not writing, Jenika works full-time and attends school. Writing is Jenika's number one passion, but since life gets in the way, she isn't able to write full-time (at least not yet.)

Jenika writes erotic paranormal, contemporary, BDSM and sci-fi romances. Her publishing houses are Siren-Bookstrand, Total-E-Bound and Passion in Print, and Evernight publishing.
Jenika started writing at a very young age. Her first story consisted of a young girl who traveled to an exotic island and found a magical doll. That story as long since disappeared, but her passion for writing has stayed strong.

Jenika loves to hear from readers, and encourages them to contact her and give their feedback.

Is forced/coerced seduction too much like rape?

I have recently noticed stories that take on the scene of forced/coerced seduction. There is of course is no actual rape happening in these stories, in my opinion, not in the sense that I classify as actual rape. The heroine may be dominated and forced to submit to the male, but her body betrays her true feelings and her mind is at war with what she feels is right and wrong. The idea that this taboo situation makes her excited and aroused does not deter from the fact that guilt for feeling these things may be too much mentally.

This who notion of forcing the heroine to fully submit in the most elemental of ways fascinated me, not in the grotesque sense that forcing oneself on another is to be praised, but that if someone is put in just the right situation, where their choice is taken from them and they have to see what they could experience, that, in my opinion, is something that seems truly erotic in every sense.

I thought about how this might go over with readers, if I were to write something like this, something that showcased what a woman could feel when her choice is removed, when she is forced to understand that to submit she is fully giving up her freewill and letting herself fully understand what it means to be possessed in the most basic of instances.

I started writing the story, with the intent to see if this was a topic I could create. I have read enough that the idea is not foreign to me, but still, it isn’t a genre I have delved into. I asked my husband what he thought about the scene I was creating, about having someone’s will taken away to where they could only feel. He said it was too much like rape, too much like someone is being forced to do something they may not necessarily want to do.

While this may be true in a sense, I personally don’t see it that way. There is no violence, no pain, well, not in the sense that the two participating people don’t get pleasure from. Although this may be a darker subject matter, I think inside of all of us there is a little piece that longs to understand what it means to give up your choice, willpower, and what you can feel sexually.

My question to all of you is how do you feel about the forced/coerced storyline? Is it too much like rape or does it indeed awaken a small part of you that wants to touch what is forbidden?

A Passion in Print release
by Jennika Snow

Helina Alges struggles to stay alive and escape a race of vampires that have claimed the world as their own. When one vampire takes a special interest in Helina, she realizes she is the prey to a very deadly predator.

When she meets Gaijryc, the prince of the vampires that have taken over the world, she must put her trust and her very life in his hands. Together they find passion in each others arms, but with danger all around them, they don't realize that their act of passion has just made the situation more deleterious.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

New Release for Melissa Mayhue!

Retweeting this from twitter...Love Melissa Mayhue's Highlander series! And this got a Top Pick from Romantic Times!

SueGrimshaw Sue Grimshaw
Blogguest, Melissa Mayhue + Giveaway on sale 2/22


Monday, February 14, 2011

Beverly Rae - Heat with Fun!!

Welcome Beverly Rae, our guest today. Bev and I met on line when we both wrote for a "no longer" publisher, then we attended the same convention and what can I say...great minds! We laughed our way through several days.

Today she is sharing an excerpt on Wildcats, but I thought I'd also include the sexy cover for her latest release. Check out Running with the Pack, also!
Also, Beverly will select a winner from comments to receive a PDF of
I Married a Demon. So comment away!
Hi, Everyone.

First, I’d like to thank Lizzie for allowing me to guest blog today. She and I are fellow authors and friends, so it’s a thrill to be a part of her blog.

Now just a brief intro about me. I’m a multi-published author of twenty-plus novels. I write contemporary paranormal romances that range from “sweetly sensual” to “erotic”. My books are witty, fun, sexy, fast paced and take the reader through a wild ride of emotions which is why I use the tag line “Giggle, Gasp & Sigh with a Beverly Rae Romance”.

A question I get asked a lot is how I get the ideas for my books. If you asked my parents, they’d say “Oh, she’s always had an active imagination. And a strange one, too.” I laugh because I can hardly argue the point. Besides, if I didn’t have my imagination, then I wouldn’t be an author, right? But that’s not telling you much, is it?

The ideas for my books come from anywhere and everywhere. For instance, the idea for my first novel, TOUCH ME came to me when my daughter asked me how she would know when she found her true love. I fell back on the usual “You’ll know when it’s right” line, but her questions let my imagination wander. What if you could touch someone and instantly know they were─or weren’t─the right one for you? Wouldn’t this ability save people from heartache and misery, not to mention the time and hassle of divorce? As I continued to explore the idea, I fantasized about the possibility of one person who could help connect lovers. Would she charge for this service? Would she have fame and money? Would she be a guest on Oprah? Would she be loved because she could tell people the name of their one true soul mate? Or would she be hated/envied/feared for the same reason? It makes you think, huh?

But here’s another side to the coin. What if finding her own love made her ability vanish? Which would she choose─her gift or her love? If you were the matchmaker, which would you choose?

Several months after the conversation with my daughter, TOUCH ME was completed. From that point on, conversations, television programs, news casts, just about everything has given me ideas for books, including my latest release, WILD CAT.

About WILD CAT (Wild Things, Bk 2):

Alexandra’s brother has changed since his mate’s death, but she’s certain he’s no cattle killer. When she gets the chance to track down the real culprit, she jumps at the opportunity to clear the suspicions hovering over his head. And maybe ease her own grief.

Connor would do anything for Alex—even be her mate if she would only ask. Instead he settles for coming with her, ready to protect her from the rogue as well as human hunters. When another tracker shows up accusing them of the crime, though, there’s no stopping Alex’s instant attraction to the lone werewolf.

Dirk is on the same mission, but for a different reason: His pack owes one of the ranchers a favor. Once he finds Alex examining the latest bovine victim, though, he shifts his goals to include her mile-long legs wrapped around his waist. If only he can get past her interfering friend.

Trigger-happy hunters send them all into hiding, where huddling for warmth turns hotter than expected. The heat burns away any pretense that this is a sexual romp. It’s a destined love that a killer could destroy…unless Alex makes a heartbreaking choice.

I hope you enjoy this excerpt from WILD CAT (PG-13):

“Shit, shit, shit.” Alex skirted the bloodied area and knelt beside the mutilated carcass. “That’s the third one today.”
Batting the flies away, she held her breath against the putrefying stench and was glad she’d had the forethought to tie her hair into a ponytail. She wished she’d brought a handkerchief to cover her nose.
Once again, Alex reconsidered her decision to track the rogue werecat responsible for the cattle attacks. But it wasn’t like she really had a choice. She could either accept the growing suspicion that her brother was the killer, or she could volunteer to find the real culprit. Either way, the situation sucked, but she’d made her choice, coming down on the side of proving her brother’s innocence.
Understanding why her people assumed that Bryer was the killer wasn’t difficult. After his mate had been fatally shot by hunters, he’d changed, growing bitter and angry. Then, when the council had refused his demand for retribution, he’d spurned the pride, vowing to make them pay along with the hunters. Bryer’s words of hate and pain the night he’d stood before the council, condemning them, ripped through her, taking her away from the gruesome mutilation.
“Alex? Did you hear me?”
She jerked, bringing herself back to the present. “Uh, no. I’m sorry. What did you say?”
Conner, Alex’s best friend and childhood companion, squatted beside her. “I said that, from the way she’s torn apart, the cat must be a massive one. Definitely bigger than any regular mountain lion and much bigger than any werecat I’ve ever seen…”
She could almost hear the unspoken “with the exception of your brother” hanging in the air. Glaring at her friend, she gritted her teeth and counted to ten, letting the rush of irritation pass. She couldn’t fault Conner. After all, he’d chosen to come along with her when no one else would. He’d come with her not only to support her brother, but in hopes of scoring points with her. Once again, she wondered if she could have a life with Conner as her mate. After all, if anyone had proven his love for her, it was Conner. But the extra spark, the underlying connection she yearned for, just wasn’t strong enough.
Alex studied the handsome shifter. He was tall and lean with enough muscles to make her feel safe in his arms. His long black hair fell across his forehead, serving to highlight the sparkle in his obsidian eyes. In short, Conner was exactly the way she liked her males. Not for the first time, she sighed, easily imagining sex with him, her limbs wrapped around him, holding him to her. But was sex the extent of any relationship they could share? In fact, knowing he wanted her for his mate kept her from accepting his sexual advances. Even after she’d started using sex to drive away the loneliness, the hole in her life her brother had left, she’d kept her friend at arm’s length. Still, if she relented and took him to bed, would that help clarify her feelings for him? As she’d done so many times before, she pushed the questions away and focused on the present.
She nodded, then moved away from the rotting animal. “Yeah, that’s a werecat’s work, all right. Just like the others.”
“Like I said, one helluva big cat, too.” He paused and released a heavy sigh. “One as big as Bryer.”
She whirled on him, flashing fangs and sprouting claws. “Bryer didn’t do this. He couldn’t be this cruel, this wasteful. And he wouldn’t put the pride in danger by stirring up the ranchers. I don’t care what he said that night at the council. You know my brother, Conner, so how can you think that?”
She fisted her hands, not to keep from hitting him, but to rid herself of the uncertainty clawing its way into her gut. Memories of her brother sobbing on her shoulder, then swearing to tear human hunters apart flashed through her mind, but she forced them away. She looked away from Conner. Bryer had no one left, no one else to stand by him. She couldn’t, wouldn’t, give up on him.
“He’s changed in the past year, Alex. After Lara died—”
“Leave his mate out of this.” If only Lara had lived, then maybe Bryer wouldn’t have changed, wouldn’t have grown cold and hard. But multiple wounds had proven too much for the young werecat and the baby she’d carried. Alex swallowed the lump forming in her throat, defiantly lifted her head and confronted Conner.
Although she could see the argument in his eyes, Conner raised his hands and nodded in agreement. “Okay, okay. Take it easy, Stretch.”
The childhood nickname, given to her because she’d towered over other female werecats, didn’t lessen the anguish twisting her heart. Again she pushed away the horrible images trying to invade her thoughts and drew her body straighter. Instead, she pictured her brother chasing her around the hillside, tumbling over her in good-natured roughhousing. He’d grown from a pesky little brother into a wonderful, caring man. A man who’d had everything, a bright and happy future. Until the day Lara died. From that day on, he was no longer the playful free spirit she loved. Oh, how she missed his spontaneity and joking nature. It was as if the world had gone dark. She glanced at the carcass and shook her head. She had to believe in the brother she’d once known.
“Do you two like tearing dumb animals apart? Or is it because you like your meat rotten?”
Alex’s snarl matched Conner’s and together they spun toward the voice. She squinted into the sun, trying to see more than the outline of the figure standing on the nearby rocks. Resisting the urge to change into her werecat form, she slowly raised her hand to shield her eyes from the glare. Shadowed from the light, she could see the man clearer, his long form spreading wide at the muscled shoulders. His chest pushed against the denim material, highlighting the rock-hard abs beneath. A lock of dark hair flopped over his forehead, but it was his bright blue eyes that caught her attention. The laughter in them unsettled her and she dragged her gaze past the sensuous lips to the strong jaw. The tug inside her abdomen hit her, throwing her emotional equilibrium further off-base. Her vaginal walls tightened, cueing her libido’s quickening. If ever she’d wanted to eat a man alive, this was the one. Then he grinned and she almost moaned with desire. His sexy, devil-may-care grin shot a hot lust-filled rush through her that had her swaying on her feet.
She cleared her throat, making sure her words wouldn’t come out in a bedroom breath. “Who wants to know?”
“Oooh, she’s a feisty little kitty.” His grin grew wider. A grin reminiscent of the kind her brother used to brighten her day. She fought the smile tugging at the corners of her mouth.
She tilted her head and took a harder look at him. Not too many humans could recognize a shifter so quickly. “Trust me. My claws are a whole lot sharper than a kitty’s. You’d better hope you don’t find that out.”

End of Excerpt

Thanks again to Lizzie for letting me chat with you today. If you have a minute, I’d love for you to drop by my website and check out the rest of my books. Oh, and be sure to check the Contest Page for my In With a Roar, Out With a Howl Drawing!

Beverly Rae
Giggle, Gasp & Sigh with a Beverly Rae Romance

WILD CAT (Wild Things, Bk 2) ~ She’s a real wild cat…in and out of bed.
Available at and Samhain Publishing
A My Bookstore and Bestseller

COUGAR (Wild Things, Bk 1) - She likes her men rough, tough...and two at a time.
Available at and Samhain Publishing
A Long and Short Reviews Whipped Cream Best Book A My Bookstore and Bestseller A Books On Board Bestseller

RUNNING WITH THE PACK (Cannon Pack, Bk 3) - Feb 2, 2011

WILD THINGS anthology in paperback – Sept 6, 2011
Cougar and Wild Cat together in print!

CLAWED (Wild Things, Bk 3) – Available Fall, 2011

5 Ridiculous Valentines Day Gifts that I Don't Want!

Found these on The Newsfeed site. Really makes ones heart rate increase with delight at the thought of finding one of these waiting for you Valentines Day! Thought I'd share a few for grins or on some gross outs!

Read more:

Toilet For Two
Presenting the TwoDaLoo ($14,000), for the couple that likes to do everything together. There's no reason that valuable minutes spent on the toilet need to be spent apart. Simultaneously get rid of the bathroom wait while staring longingly into your love birds' eyes. Bonus: it saves the environment with just one flush of water! ....ewwww!

Cupcake From The Heart
For the Valentine that likes everything as straightforward as possible. This edible bleeding heart ($11.24) is scarily realistic, made of red velvet sponge cake, cream cheese frosting, and black current and cherry "blood." This will show your love the true source of your feelings. Bonus: you can relive high school biology dissection labs as you eat this pastry organ! ....just what I don't want!

Love Wipes
This romantic toilet paper ($14.99) reads, "I love you from top to bottom." With this hefty price tag, this roll's not ideal for teepeeing, yet adds an element of luxury to every bathroom. Bonus: it's functional and poetic. know the commercial where the wife is throwing TP to the husband who yell's we're out...wouldn't need to be out to get this one thrown at him!

Chocolate Smart Car
If all your special someone says he or she wants for Valentine's this year is chocolate, get him or her chocolate like no one's seen before: in car form. Mercedes-Benz released this chocolate themed smart car ($28,902) in Japan. Bonus: you can actually drive the car. Has any box of chocolates ever done that before? ....wonder if you can only drive it on cold days? Otherwise you might incur a true meltdown.

Dog That Gets Busy
Worried that your Valentine forgets about your personal life during the work day? This humping dog USB drive ($9.99) will remind your special someone of the fun you have when you're together. Bonus: this dog stores your files! ...hmmm

Instead of wasting your money on this stuff, about a trip to the Caribbean? I won't melt like that chocolate car!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Meet Devyn Quinn!

Today's guest is the fantastic Devyn Quinn. I have to tell, the cover on this book is fantastic...Love it!
Devyn will pick one lucky winner from those who comment to receive a book, so make sure you check out her blurb and excerpt and say something profound!

Devyn Quinn lives in the scenic Southwest, though she has called several other states home. She is a huge fan of dark gothic music & shoot-’em-up action movies. But reading is her first love and Devyn spends too much time with history books, as well as feeding her addiction for celebrity biographies. She especially enjoys reading books on Hollywood before the 1960′s and is crazy about Marilyn Monroe, her legend and her myth.

Devyn lives with her cats, ferrets, and one little single Shih Tzu doggie, Tess.

She is also the owner of several tattoos, including one based on her “Eternity” books.


Refusing to embrace her mermaid heritage, Gwen Lonike prefers to live as a human. All she wants it to run her hotel in Port Rock Maine, in peace. But when her sister Tessa returns from the Mediterranean with news that she had inadvertently opened the gateway to a lost mermaid kingdom–and accidentally freed its dangerous queen–Gwen can no longer hide behind her idyllic life.

Covert-ops agent Blake Whittaker is far from happy when he’s assigned to trail paranormal activity back to him hometown, where he can’t escape crushing memories he’d rather forget. But when he meets and falls for Gwen, he knows he can’t cut and run. Yet how long can he hide his true mission from her? And how long can Gwen and her sisters remain safe from a nemesis bent on their destruction–and from Blake’s own superiors, whose ultimate mission could prove the greatest threat of all?


Turning into the hotel parking lot, Blake Whittaker guided his black sedan into the nearest available space and killed the engine. Instead of making an immediate grab for the bag in the passenger seat, he simply sat, staring into the distance.

It was amazing how things had changed since he’d last been in Port Rock. Almost seventeen years had passed since he’d last set foot in the small Maine fishing village. And while the old familiar landmarks were still in place, a lot of things looked different. The hotel, for instance, was new. Back when he was a kid the oceanfront acreage overlooking the bay was undeveloped, offering an unobstructed view of the open water and the small island that lay about a mile offshore.

Little Mer Island, he thought. That’s where he’d be heading first thing tomorrow. To get there he’d have to rent a skiff, crossing over the wide open waters of the bay.

A flush prickled Blake’s skin as his heart sped up. Despite the humidity permeating the warm summer night, he shivered. He hated deep water of any kind. Aside from a shower, he did his best to stay far away from the stuff. It didn’t matter if it only filled a swimming pool, or the wide open ocean. The less he saw of it, the better.

Mouth going bone-dry, his grip on the steering wheel tightened as a series of images flashed through his mind. For a brief second he wasn’t a thirty-three-year-old man, but a four-year-old boy facing an insanely furious woman filling a deep old-fashioned claw-foot tub with ice-cold water.

Forcing himself back toward calm, Blake blew out a few quick hard puffs, filling his lungs and then quickly expelling the air. The strain of clenching his jaw made his teeth hurt. The last thing he needed was a full-blown panic attack while sitting in the parking lot. Thank God the lot was abandoned. There was no one around at such a late hour to see him melt down.

Catching hold of his fear and forcing himself to stuff it away, he slowly uncurled his fingers. A low curse slipped between his numb lips. “Damn.” Just thinking about his mother made him twitch, setting his nerves on edge.

He hadn’t expected that memory to come crawling out of nowhere and ambush him. He did his best to forget those petrifying moments when his mom was drunk on vodka and raging with malice.

Men. She hated them. Every last blasted one and . . .

And some things are best left alone, Blake reminded himself. Remembering his mother was like sticking his hand into a den of poisonous snakes. He was bound to get bitten, but he just couldn’t stop prodding the deadly reptiles.

He’d better stop it or he was going to get bitten. Badly.

Coming back to Port Rock certainly wasn’t helping matters. When he’d finally gotten old enough to leave it, he hadn’t intended to come back. Not ever. At the age of seventeen he’d gotten the hell out, going as far away as he could. A one-way bus ticket and a suitcase was all he had to his name. If he hadn’t just joined the army, he would’ve had no place to go at the end of the trip.

Blake rubbed his burning eyes. To be sane himself, to continue being sane, he had to quit tearing at the scars marking old wounds. There were a lot of ghosts lingering in his past, a lot of skeletons shoved into his family’s closets.

Shut them, bolt them, and go on. That’s the way he’d always gotten things done. As a kid he’d put on the stiff upper lip, taken the beatings, and gone about the business of living as best he could.

He’d survived.

Sighing again, he shifted his body in the uncomfortable seat, feeling the cramp in his legs. The three-and-a-half-hour trip through a massive thunderstorm had taken its toll on his nerves.

Palm rasping against a day’s growth of whiskers, he reached for the cup balanced between his splayed legs. He took a gulp of its contents; black unsweetened coffee. It was cold and tasted like shit. As much as he didn’t like coming back to Port Rock, he had a job to do. Not a hard one. Not even difficult. Just ask a few questions, poke around a little. It wasn’t rocket science.

But it was top secret.

As a special agent, Blake presently worked in the A51-ASD division of the FBI. Had it not been a highly covert organization, the A51 would have been familiar enough to tip off most Americans as to its purpose. After all, Area 51 was the nickname for a military base presently located in the southern portion of Nevada in the western United States. Supposedly the base’s primary purpose was the development and testing of experimental aircraft and weapons systems.

That was somewhat true. And anyone not presently situated under a rock knew about the intense secrecy surrounding the base, one that had made it a popular subject among conspiracy theorists who held a belief in the existence of alien life on Earth.

The crackpots weren’t wrong, either. Blake Whittaker knew for a fact the federal government took the existence of aliens very seriously. The genesis of the current operations stemmed from an incident in 1947 in Roswell, New Mexico. At that time, the military had supposedly recovered alien craft and corpses, purportedly held under lock and key, never to be revealed to the public.

It was absolutely true in every respect.

The ASD had been created to cover not only future occurrences of possible alien activity, but also to investigate other incidents deemed alien, paranormal, or hereby inexplicable.

Curious. Strange. Bizarre. You name it, the ASD had an agent on it.

And that was why he was in Port Rock. Because something curious had taken not only a strange turn, but a bizarre one as well.

It had all begun in the 1950s, when an intense concentration of electromagnetic energy was located in the Mediterranean Sea. There was no rhyme or reason why the energy should be at that precise spot, or what caused it. Using the latest technology in deep-sea exploration, scientists had yet to discover the source. Given the location of the disturbance, most theories ranged from a geothermal field due to volcanic activity, to some sort of alien homing signal or beacon.

For the most part, the energy seemed to be harmless, a phenomenon never to be explained. Naval ships in the area monitored it, and no changes had been reported in the last sixty years. Whatever it was simply was.

And then something happened.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Explore A Past and a Future

Penny Lockwood Ehrenkranz shares a peak at her collection of short in A Past and A Future. This is a fun read with a wide range of stories and I enjoyed them. The length of each story made it easy to read one when I needed a break from my crazy routine. One of my favorite's Who Will Heal the Healer? Niane's relationship with her teacher is complicated, but her question to him at the end made me smile. And then The Watcher, will Zerelda go down a path that spells trouble, and then theres...well, you get what I mean. It's easy to get hooked on stories that draw you in.

Plus, some of the stories in this book will leave you asking, "Would I have responded in the same way?" on some of the decisions the hero or heroine make.

Stories included in A Past and A Future are:

1. Flight of the Roc
What would you do if your master told you to collect a roc's egg? Would you be willing to climb a mountain and climb into the nest? And, what would happen if the egg you collected hatched?

2. Blurred Vengeance
Temur's father is murdered, and he must have revenge. Will his journey to honor his father's death bring him what he wants, or will it destroy him and his village?

3. Who Will Heal the Healer
Marzan teaches Niane to control the winds, but what about the winds of fate? Will Niane be able to save her mentor when the underworld comes to claim him?

4. Ashley of Ashland
Ashley, a young magician covets his brother's fiance, but what are her feelings? Is his brother fit to rule the kingdom or is he a brutal womanizer? Can Ashley's magic be enough to save him and his true love?

5. The Watcher
Zerelda lives in a world of women. Her function is to obey and not have feelings. She watches for the one who comes from afar. When he comes to impregnate her ruler, will they find a forbidden love instead?

6. Enchantress
Merlin knows his fate, but he is unable to stand against it when Viviane enchants him. Will his powers be stronger than hers, or will he find himself a victim of love?

She is from this world. He is from another. A dragon draws them together. Will she look beyond his pointed ears and see the man of her dreams? Will she fear the dragon or embrace him?

8. Heshe
Lyda runs from her abusive stepfather, hiding her sex from the world. Her rescuer has a secret of his own. Will they both find happiness or will their pursuers stop them before they find their paradise?

9. The Baby Makers
How far would you go to get a baby if you can't conceive on your own? Would you accept a clone? Would you fight for that's child's rights in a world unprepared for it?

10. 3-D Pictures
Avery's boss thought he was crazy, but was he? When he stared into the 3-D picture, he saw a land others couldn't see. When Elvina emerges from the picture to tell him of his true heritage, will he join her in the picture or accept the doctor's diagnosis?

11. Screen Saver
Clancy is used to strange people. His boss represents them. But when the bullets start flying, will the screen saver really save him?

12. Isolation
The world has died, except for small pockets of isolated communities. The rich can afford to live isolated from the poor who die daily from bad air, poisoned water, and uncontrolled diseases. But what if you are tired of the isolation? What if you wanted to find somewhere to be free? Would you take the chance?

13. Love in a Different Hue
Chiri's father is a scientist. He invents artificial life. Her husband married her for her money and access to her father. What should she do when the artificial life her father has created looks better to her than her husband?

14. Down So Low The Ground Looks Like Up
Sylvan is sensitive to others feelings. It drives her crazy, so she drinks to dull the pain. But does she also drink because she harbors a secret? Will Dev, the police officer who finds her, rescue her from her demons?

15. Rebels With a Cause
Kids will be kids even in the future where people wear a uniform colored to their profession. Juvenile offenders receive an implant so they can be tracked without being housed in a facility. Shahleena is bored with her existence. Will volunteering to help these juvenile offenders help her or help them?

16. Clockworks
John lives in Structured. His ancestors came from Upheaval. On a whim, he decides to visit, only to find the chaos of Upheaval is more than he can handle. Unfortunately, he cannot leave fast enough. What will happen to him when he finds the clocks are all set to different times?

Question: Penny, what books besides this one are available right now and do you have future releases scheduled at this time?

Most of the work is written as Penny Lockwood Ehrenkranz, with the exception of my middle grade novels and picture books, which are written as Penny Lockwood.

A Past and A Future (short story collection) is now available

Ghost for Rent – writing as Penny Lockwood (middle grade novel) is now available (also on Amazon)

Dragon Sight (YA illustrated chapbook) is now available

Love Delivery, (contemporary romance) coming August, 2011
Lady in Waiting, (historical romance) coming November, 2011
All the following are written as Penny Lockwood:
Funny Dog, (picture book) coming May, 2012
Ghost for Lunch, (MG novel) coming September, 2013
Many Colored Coats, (picture book) coming October, 2014
Boo's Bad Day, (picture book) coming June, 2015
Where can we learn more about you and your work?

I have my webpage and a blog I feature other writers, occasional reviews, and writing tips. I am also on Facebook, Twitter, Jacketflap, and Amazon.

Also, to learn more about Penny, follow her onto her next stop in this blog tour. - Feb 10 & 11, Joyce Anthony

Monday, February 7, 2011

10 Most Romantic Songs!

Valentine Day draws near and our thoughts turn to romance. According to Lauren Barth at GlamBuzz this is a list of the Top 10 Most Romantic Songs of All Time.

Agree or disagree? Which song would you replace with your choice?

10. You’re Beautiful, James Blunt
Admit it, this song haunts you. Yes, it was totally overplayed, but didn’t the lyrics resonate? Hearing this song, you just yearned to be the one he was singing about. Or was that just me?

9. My Heart Will Go On, Celine Dion
Even though Ms. Dion overdramtically hits her chest every time she sings this song, it’s still absolutely awe-inspiring. Period.

8. All I Want Is You, U2
This lesser-known song by U2 can be found on the soundtrack of the ‘90s movie Reality Bites—and if you haven’t heard it, I suggest you hustle and download it soon. It’s soft, stirring, with just a touch of sexy. Quick tip for guys: Light some candles, push play, and just wait for her to swoon!

7. Wonderful Tonight, Eric Clapton
This song was on almost every mix tape made in the early 90s—and it still has the same pull now that it did then. And have you ever heard it live? Intense.

6. Amazed, Lonestar
Yes, it’s country. But the lyrics of this song are, dare I say it, amazing. It is a perfect wedding song, as the words are pretty much vows anyway.

5. Lover Lay Down, The Dave Matthews Band
Okay, so I know this song is about adultery and it’s not that I condone it, but it absolutely wins the prize for rationalizing it better than anything I’ve ever heard.

4. Total Eclipse of the Heart, Bonnie Tyler
This is one of those songs that you find yourself singing really loudly to yourself in the car while making grand gestures with your hands. This song is incredible and can be listened to on repeat without ever getting old. You might end up sobbing, but it won’t get old.

3. At Last, Etta James
Even though this song wraps up every wedding, it affects me every time I hear it. Her very first, “At Laaaaaast” just tugs at the heart strings. (Does this list have enough clich├ęs for you?)

2. True Companion, Marc Cohn
Whose heard this song at a wedding and NOT cried? I mean, the lyrics alone are breathtaking but the melody too… man, it’s just so great.

1. I Will Always Love You, Whitney Houston
Is anyone surprised by this choice? The incredible voice, the moving music, the scenes that play in your head from The Bodyguard…well maybe not that last part so much. It’s just the perfect love song.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Margaret West delights and educates us today!

I met the delightful Margaret West on Facebook when we became friends. Her history intrigued and delighted me and then when I read her work, I became hooked. I think you will too. If you enjoy paranormal romance, you're in for a treat. Join me in welcoming this talented lady and let's have some great questions for her today!

Born in England, Margaret moved to the Kent countryside five years ago to get away from the busy life in London. She married with two grown up children and has worked in various fields of work. She is a Clairknowing medium, Crystal Therapist, Parapsychologist and Psychic Development tutor.
She’s been writing over 20 years and has numerous short stories, novels and articles published. Margaret writes romance and paranormal novels, incorporating her spiritual experiences into her books.

By Margaret West


Why do writers blog? To get noticed, to promote work, to meet new people, publishers, editors...the list is endless. A lot of people say to me they have nothing of interest to say on a blog, so I say, then write about what interests you! A television program, the book you loved or hated. Last and by no means least, your personal struggle with writing a novel. Give a few details of the story you’re working on. It doesn’t matter what you write about the end gain is that you keep readers updated on your professional life, book signs and promotions. Agents, publishers browse blogs. Show them how far you will go to promote your work and yourself.

Remember to keep your blog professional. Don’t fall into the trap of regular personal updates, such as the little brown message your dog left on the lounge floor and how many times you berated your partner that day. Save that for a spin off personal blog that people can visit to learn about you. As an author you do need to come across as real – connect with readers, but don’t become the nag that we all want to leave behind when we write. The golden rule of blogging is...If you have something that would embarrass you or another to talk about, don’t blog it so the world can read about it.
So now we have covered the basics, let’s get started with blogging.


1. Head over to and sign up.
2. Follow the prompts and fill in your profile. Take every opportunity to connect with your readers.
3. You will now be sent an activation e-mail. If the email doesn’t arrive go and check the update profile page to ensure your e-mail address is correct. If it’s not, scroll to the bottom of the page to change it.
4. Log in at the top of the page.
5. Click on “My Dashboard” in the menu bar at the top of the page.

What are Pages?
These are static pages with your content. You can have as many as you want, and they can be called whatever you like. To make a page, scroll to the Pages drop down on the left menu, and click “add.” It really is as simple as that.

What are Posts?
These are your blog entries. Find the posts menu then click “add new.” Type or paste your writing into the text box. Don’t forget to add a title as this turns into the link you will need to promote the blog post. Scroll down the right menu, and select the categories your post fits—say, writing samples—then hit save if you want to use it another day, or publish to go live.

What are Categories?
Think of these as individual folders in a filing cabinet. It’s an easy way to sort posts and create a handy menu bar. You can use more than one category per post, but do bear in mind that only posts can be categorized.

What are Tags?
This is computer talk for keywords. Tags are used in site searches, and are often listed somewhere on the post. So now you know what to do, what are you waiting for? Get started. Need help? Contact me here
Lots of blogging luck to you.

Blurb for Abigail Cottage

When Abigail falls in love with Justin she can’t begin to know the world of hurt she is heading into. Gorgeous, kind, rich – he’s the man we all dream to meet. BUT, all is not what it seems because Justin is a true demon from hell, disguised as a mortal being. He wants her and will do, kill or maim anyone who tries to stop him. Namely Shaun the real hero, who wants Abigail more! So what does a mortal man do against a demon? He enlists the help of a gypsy of course. But not any old gypsy. Rosa knows Justin very well and has the powers of the spirit world on her side to fight him. Using crystals as a powerful weapon, the light of the spirit world to lead them, they embark on a battle with the whole of the underworld. Many loved ones will lose their lives. This isn’t a book where everyone survives. In real life, bad things happen. In Abigail Cottage, terrible tragedies occur too. Believe... not every story can have a happy ending.