Thursday, May 30, 2013

The finished patio project (and a few random photos).

Alma's Ganache In A Cup.
 The deck is finished! After months of mud and building, we finally got some furnishings (thanks to Lowe's discount area and various thrift shops) and it is starting to look like the retreat I always wanted. But first, I tease you with some random pictures of Portland!

(cue evil laugh)

The empty cup is the remains of an Alma Chocolate's Ganache in a Cup. I was not about to stop to take a picture before I ate it.
Cherish Yesterday; Dream Tomorrow, Love Today.
 Outside of Alma's, I saw this wonderful sign sitting on the sidewalk.
I call this The Retreat.
 And now for the main event. :)
Candlesticks from Goodwill.

Perfect for dreaming and reading.

The Garden Gate

The Party Pavilion

Pretty lanterns light the way.

A vase from a friend's mother's estate sale.

Rain chains: elegant and relaxing.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Joe Hill on Writing.

Last week, The Charming Man and I went to Powell's Book Store to see Joe Hill in person.

The Charming Man is a big fan of Mr. Hill's Locke and Key series of graphic novels.

Mr. Hill read from his latest novel, NOS4A2, answered questions, then signed for nearly two hours.

I took notes, and here are some wonderful things he said.

"Just sit down and write one great scene. It's best of you do it in one sitting. Don't think that you have to do two hundred more pages of this. Focus on your one great scene."

"I usually do about five to seven drafts." (What a relief! I get all wound up on how many drafts I write. Instead, I'm on target. Woot!)

"I'm surprised so many people come to these things; there are so many cat videos on the Internet."

I would like to point out that while Joe Hill is over 40, he looks about 25. I think writing horror must keep one young.

Thank you, Joe Hill!

Romantic Times are the best of times.

At the beginning of May, I attended the Romantic Times Reader Convention in Kansas City, MO. 

While I was there, I was so busy, I couldn't keep good notes, but I was able to take many photos!

Lori Sjoberg

Me, Lori Sjoberg, and Kim Foster

Fellow e-Kensington auther, Marina Miles.

More fun with eKensington authors!

Kensington had cookies with our covers!

Me at the E-book Expo.
The "before" picture of my table at the E-book Expo.

My "after" picture at the E-book Expo.

OMG I got Laura Kinsale's autograph!

Jade Lee, after I was eating a candy penis from Delilah Marvelle.

Kim Foster and her stash of goodies!

John Scalzi for The Charming Man!

Monday, May 20, 2013

The winner and champion!

The winner of my last Dragon necklace is....(insert drum roll)...


Kimba Caffeinated over at the Caffeinated Book Reviewer!

Blast from the Past.

Once more into the past - this post is from June 14, 2010.

Jennifer Crusie rocks my socks. 


For those who aren't familiar with the romance genre, a little back story.

Here's part of what Wikipedia says about Ms. Crusie:

Crusie was graduated from Wapakoneta High School, and then earned a bachelor's degree in Art Education from Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, Ohio.[1] She has two Master's degrees. For her first, from Wright State University in Professional Writing and Women's Literature,[1] Crusie wrote a thesis on the role of women in mystery fiction.[2] Her second master's degree is an MFA in Fiction from Ohio State University.[1] She has also completed work towards a Ph.D. in feminist criticism and nineteenth century British and American literature at Ohio State University.
So we know we're dealing with a driven, intelligent woman who loves romance and who can discourse intelligently on the themes and motifs of romance fiction. On her website, Ms. Crusie discusses her writing process and analysis of genre fiction.

I have to recommend the below essay, if only cheer about someone mentioning V. Propp's and Claud Levi-Strauss' theories on literature and myth.

This Is Not Your Mother's Cinderella: The Romance Novel as Feminist Fairy Tale.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Virtual Book Blast: Cream by Zenobia Renquist

Please welcome Zenobia Renquist and her new book, Cream, to the blog! Ready for a teaser of this fabulous interracial romance? 

Zenobia is giving away a $25 Starbucks gift card to a randomly drawn commenter!

by Zenobia Renquist

She’s entered a world where blood, sex, and cash rules everything around her.

What do a four hundred-year-old vampire and a mid-level necromancer have in common? Money. Jeliyah needs it to pay off the people who trained her and Teaghan enjoys killing to get it. Together they hunt rogue vampires—assuming Teaghan can focus on something other than getting her in bed and Jeliyah doesn’t put a bullet in him first.

The uneasy partnership promises to be lucrative until Teaghan and Jeliyah get on the wrong side of a feud. Jeliyah is forced to use forbidden magic and finds herself bound to a man she should hate—but whom she can’t stop fantasizing about.

Every second they stay alive fuels a growing desire Jeliyah is unwilling to deny. Is it the magic? The danger? The only way to get the answers she craves is to outrun the enemy or kill them. She knows Teaghan’s preference but it’s Jeliyah who must put their mind-blowing sex aside and make the choice that will decide both their fates.


Did that whet your appetite? I bet this excerpt will!

Teaghan kicked the room door shut behind him and then laid her on the nearest bed. “At least this time you’re not glowing. Let’s not make a habit of this.”
“I feel the same.”
“Then again…” His gaze wandered to her breasts.
Images of Teaghan running his hands over her breasts and teasing her nipples entered her mind. She reared up and smacked him at the same time she brought her other arm up to guard her chest.
Teaghan didn’t react except to grin at her. “You’re flushed, necromancer. Your heart rate jumped too. My little idea get you all hot and bothered?”
She glared at him.
“No? How about this one?”
A mental picture of Teaghan yanking off her panties so he could run his tongue over her clit invaded her mind. The detail was so vivid Jeliyah felt her pussy twitch in anticipation. Damn the man and this stupid mental connection. It might be one way, but she had access to his thoughts and now he wasn’t trying to hide them. “You can’t do that without an invitation.”
“So invite me.”
“Shouldn’t you be going to sleep? The sun is up.”
“Sun’s got nothing to do with me.” He moved closer, planting his hands on either side of her legs and leaning into her. “Invite me.”
Jeliyah scooted back off the bed and away from him. Once on her feet, she said, “Don’t get all cocky just because I took some of your blood, vampire. I told you that was a one-time thing and not to get ideas.”
“Yeah, I heard you but,” he hopped the bed and crowded her against the wall, “here’s the thing. You could have gotten the same results by asking me to open a vein. A simple prick to the finger for a few drops of blood would have sufficed. You kissed me, necromancer.”
“It was a split-second decision. Back off.” She clutched the necrome at her throat and said, “Shield.”
Teaghan laughed as the shield expanded to include him. “Forget something important, did you? Your necromes recognize me now. I’m not a threat.”
Shit. She’d forgotten one of the major side effects of Recognize. Her necromes—and any others made from her blood—no longer worked against Teaghan. There was no way to deactivate Recognize either, just like an invitation once given.
She shoved at his chest but he kept leaning forward until his lips were close to hers.
He said, “Let’s talk about that kiss.”
“It was spur of the moment. It meant nothing.”
“Care to test that theory?”
“You can’t. I haven’t invited you.”
“Kissing is the one thing I don’t need an invitation to do.” He pushed his lips against hers as he forced her hands over her head and pressed his body closer.
Jeliyah couldn’t turn from the kiss, though she tried. This wasn’t fair. Vampires needed permission to enter a person’s body. Why didn’t that extend to kissing? And why was she giving in to his kiss?

Zenobia Renquist lives in her imagination. When not traveling through her fantasy worlds, she can be found in Hawaii living with her husband and two cats.

She is an Air Force brat turned Air Force wife, which means she’s accustomed to travel and does it whenever possible (so long as she doesn’t have to fly). Her favorite pastime is torturing her characters on their way to happily-ever-after for the enjoyment of her readers.

On the few occasions her muse flees the scene of the crime, Zenobia likes to read (comics, manga, and romance), go to the movies, play a few levels of whichever puzzle game has hijacked her interest or experiment with a new chain maille weave.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Latest project.

Hey everyone! I haven't been talking about my latest project because it wasn't "ready" yet, but is there such a thing as "ready"?

I'm planning on a novella tentatively called, "Auntie Vamp", an erotic coming of age story of a young woman who is dumped (via text of all things) who then goes in search of her own sexual identity.  A sort of Cinderella meets Auntie Mame story. :)
Here is a quick snippet:

Holly Shepherd was an engaged woman. And she was darn happy about it, she vowed. She would not stare at the man who stood in front of her on the bus. No. Absolutely not. Never. She would not look at the muscles in his arms as he clasped the stabilizing strap with one hand and dug a phone out of his back pocket....

That tight ass looked like he could fuck all day. Holly wiped the sweat off her collarbones. It would feel so good to have his hips between her thighs, his package rubbing against the crotch of her panties under her blue summer dress. His long arms would brace him above her, giving him a great view of her face and breasts as he teased her, promising he would enter her, but at his own pace. He would demand she fall apart underneath him….