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.