Saturday, September 29, 2012

Let the Halloween rumpus begin!

Is October going to be full-on full-moon madness? Oh yes it is. But madness of the fun sort.

All month long, there'll be goodies and ghoulies and ghosties and giveaways. Every single weekday, a new author will magically appear, mwahahaha.

Here's the incredible lineup:
10/1 – Karen Michelle Nutt 
10/2 – Jane Lebak 
10/3 – Annie Marshall 
10/4 – Nicole Zoltack
10/5 – Jessica Subject 
10/8 – Arlene Webb
10/9 – Victoria Ley
10/10 – Lorrie Struiff
10/11 – Kelly Whitley 
10/12 – Julie Hayes
10/15 – Diane Barr
10/16 – Kristin Battestella
10/17 – Stan Hampton
10/18 – Jessica Haight & Stephanie Robinson
10/19 – Tierney O’Malley
10/21 – Margay Leah Justice
10/22 – Jim Linux
10/24 – Shirley Martin
10/25 – Sonya Clark
10/26 – Carlene Rae Dater
10/29 – Taryn Kincaid
10/30 – Jenna Storm
10/31 – Fierce Dolan

I'm also part of these two blog hops:
Oct. 26-29 – Howloween Blog Hop 
Oct. 24 – 31 – Spooktacular Giveaway Hop

Have you met my special Halloween greeter? She's lovely - until you make her cross. So maybe you should plan on visiting my blog. Every day. I can't be responsible for any unexplained occurrences otherwise!

On weekends, watch for special treats from me!
When you see the badge shown above, I'll be posting coupons for Smashwords so you can download these books for free!

Oct. 6 - Soul for Sale (Halloween)
Oct. 13 - The Magic of Lavender (Halloween party in opening)
Oct. 20 - The 12 Dancing, Zombie-Killing Princesses (zombies, zombie hunters)
Oct. 27 - In the Midnight Hour (Halloween/ghosts)

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Banned Books Week!

I am always astounded anew when Banned Books Week rolls around again. Censorship is always outrageous, but in this day and age, I expect people to be more educated, more open minded and accepting of others' views. Knowledge is power. The best way to conquer your fears about a subject is to learn more about it. READ about it.

So I'm proud to be part of the Banned Books Week celebration kicking off Friday (I am a little early) and running through Oct. 6. Thanks to I Am A Reader, Not A Writer for organizing this hop. Crazy as my schedule has been, I couldn't not be part of this. Be sure to visit all the blogs on the list - there are tons of great giveaways!

My giveaway
A $10 gift card to Amazon or Barnes and Noble

How to enter
Easy - just leave a comment below. Tell me what banned book interests you. Be sure to include your email address!

I hope that sign strikes you as ridiculous. It does me. In fact, it makes me wonder about anyone who might want to impose such restrictions on others. What are they afraid of?
Yet incredibly, the American Library Association still receives requests every year to remove books from libraries.
In 2010-2011 (the most recent list), some of the books include: 
Anne Frank, the Diary of A Young Girl
Water for Elephants
The Hunger Games
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (now a movie)
Brave New World
Snow Falling on Cedars
The Koran
And too many more, sadly. What can we do? Promote tolerance. Promote education. Promote the right to read.
Help spread the word. Join the Banned Books Week Facebook group here.

Visit more Banned Books Week participants!
If the linky code doesn't show below (and it usually doesn't), then visit I Am A Reader, Not A Writer, where you can find links to all the participants (the hop officially starts Friday, so check then).


Monday, September 24, 2012

Death reveals her inner bitch

It's the last day of the blog tour! Finally, Death speaks out. Find out what she thinks at Words of Wisdom from the Scarf Princess.

Not to be outdone, Azrael and Damien are going head to head at Zombiegirl Shambling. Another fun character interview you won't want to miss.

Both will also be posting reviews for Death Is A Bitch! I'm so grateful.

One commenter will receive an ebook of Death Is A Bitch!

Bewitching Book Tours did a fantastic job arranging this tour. I highly recommend them!

And I'm so grateful to all who visited the blog stops. You guys are wonderful! I so appreciate your support.

Guest post at Decadent's 1NS blog today
Because I'm sure you're not all sick - to Death - of me by now, lol.  My post at Decadent's 1NS blog is about story ideas, and where they originate. Come share your thoughts!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Death on a Sunday

Death never takes a day of rest. This Sunday's a busy one for her.

At Grave Tells, my guest post addresses writing against stereotypes. Quite a few of the characters in Death aren't what you might expect!

On the Broomstick is graciously providing a promo for Death Is A Bitch.

So are the wonderful folks at I Just Wanna Sit Here and Read!

I'd love for you to visit one, or all, of these stops! Comments are doubly appreciated. :)

Another thank you to Bewitching Book Tours for this great tour! You can view the full schedule here.

Two more stops on the blog tour, and Death can go back to her usual hectic duties.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Busy weekend for Death! And a blogfest

Today, she has three stops on the blog tour. Good thing her stilettos are eternally durable! The poor girl's going to need a foot rub, though. Any volunteers? It's always advisable to stay on her good side. :) Or, you can visit her here to cheer her on:

Cabin Goddess interviewed me and is posting a review of Death Is A Bitch.

Bitten by Love Reviews likewise interviewed me and is posting a review too!

And at Bookish Things and More you'll find a promo for Death Is A Bitch.

I'd be so grateful to see you at one, or all, of these stops!

And I'm so thankful to Bewitching Book Tours for this fantastic tour. You can view the full schedule here.

Only two more days after today, but five more blog stops! Whew!

All Genres Blogfest at TBR this weekend!
Pop over and share your book blurb! It's just another way to get word out about your book, and maybe some new readers will find you. To Be Read is at

Friday, September 21, 2012

More Death coming your way!

As part of the blog tour, Blooding Book Reviews is posting a review of Death Is A Bitch today. Hope to see you there!

It's the only tour stop today, but tomorrow there'll be three! Bewitching Book Tours did an amazing job setting up the blog tour. You can view the full schedule here.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Death - a sympathetic character?

Of course she is. Just look at that gorgeous face. :)

Learn how I crafted Death at my guest post at Fangs, Wands & Fairydust I'd love to hear your take on Death as a character.

And if you have a moment to stop by Place of Reads Book Blog for a promo, I'd be so grateful for a comment there as well!

The blog tour continues tomorrow! Thanks so much for your support!

And thanks to Bewitching Book Tours, which arranged this whirlwind tour. You can view the full schedule here.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Death's a busy girl!

It's Day 3 of the blog tour, and today she has two blog stops.

I hope she's ready for her closeup at Freda's Voice, which is featuring a promo.

At Darkest Addictions Book Reviews, I have a guest post AND they reviewed Death Is A Bitch.

Hope her stilettos hold up under so much running around. And I hope to see you at a blog stop or two!

Thanks so much for your support. And thanks again to Bewitching Book Tours for arranging such a fantastic tour! You can view the full schedule here.

Two more stops tomorrow!

Today begins the TRS End of Summer Bash!
 Tons of wonderful authors are participating. You'll want to visit the TRS party site - and comment - often today through Saturday. Why? Oh, you might just win the grand prize - a Nook! Or one of their many other giveaways.

I'll be posting there, too, and giving away an ebook of one of my 1NS series released by Decadent Publishing - winner's choice of my contemporary, Tonight You Belong to Me, or my fantasy, A Hard Day's Knight.

Congrats to Arlene Webb on the release of Harey!
Arlene has one of the most inventive minds. I'm looking forward to reading Harey.

Here's the blurb: Gwas can outrun a horse, knows how to hide and steal, but is ignorant of the ways of men. The last thing he expects when he is rescued from a miserable existence by a blue-eyed, blond haired angel is to be promised as a Druidic sacrifice to Eostre. Unfortunately, the only direction Gwas wishes to flee is straight into the arms and knife of his savior, Gareth.

Maura knows Gareth is no angel, but she adores him with a passion that time and loneliness cannot dent. When he rides in carrying an injured lad who fears her on sight, she is drawn to open her heart to the abused orphan as well.

Gareth is caught between his liege lord and brother’s fist, and an emotional dilemma that grows harder and harder to deny with every passing season. If he must defy man and gods in order to embrace his heart’s desires, so be it.

When the clash of old and new religions puts lives in peril, ultimate sacrifice bears witness to enduring love. Winter gives way to spring, and the evolution of a colorful myth spreads across the land.

Available at Decadent Publishing

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Day 2 of the blog tour!

Just a quick post today - my second day of the Death Is A Bitch blog tour finds me at Howling Books and Design, who graciously agreed to promo my dark paranormal.

If you have a moment, I'd love for you to visit and leave a comment!
Thanks so much for your support.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Death Is A Bitch blog tour kickoff and Favorites Blog Hop

There's so much going on this week! Today's post is a two-parter, as the header implies.

The blog tour for Death Is A Bitch begins today! I'm very excited to bring this dark paranormal with humorous/romantic/erotic elements to readers. Adventurous Erotic Romance is hosting Death today, so I hope you'll pop over.

And Crossroads was kind enough to do a review, for which I'm very grateful. I know how swamped reviewers are these days.

Tomorrow's yet another tour stop! It's going to be a whirlwind week. The full schedule's here. I hope you'll follow Death on her tour. One commenter will receive an ebook of Death Is A Bitch at the end of the tour.

I'm also grateful to Bewitching Book Tours for doing such a fantastic job of arranging the tour.

And I couldn't miss out on another blog hop put together by the Ninja himself, Alex Cavanaugh, even though I have a terrible time selecting favorites of anything. It depends on my mood, and tends to shift as I grow older, but here goes!

Favorite music
Currently, in the center console of my car, where I most often listen to CDs these days, you'll find these, many of which defy or cross genres:
The Black Keys
Bruce Springsteen
The Avett Brothers
Norah Jones
Tom Petty (Tom always sneaks in there, lol. He's like a cozy, comfy sweater.)

Favorite books
I'm going to widen this to favorite authors, a tough thing to do, because my shelves are jammed with a wide range of amazing authors, and so now is my Kindle. My top four are Michael Chabon, Alice Hoffman, T.C. Boyle, and most recently, Dean Koontz. While most are literary fiction, some dabble in speculative and fantasy or horror.

Favorite movies
Different times of year prompt me to watch different movies. At Halloween, I love Young Frankenstein. Over the holidays, I love Home for the Holidays, The Family Stone and It's A Wonderful Life. The rest of the year, favorites include Avatar, Benny and Joon, Almost Famous, A Life Less Ordinary and Pirate Radio. (As you might have surmised, most movies with quirky characters win me over, regardless of genre!)

Guilty pleasure
I have no guilt about any of them, actually. As noted above, my tastes shift, so I love many contemporary artists. Don't ever tell me I'm too old to listen to a new band! :)

Thanks for stopping by. Now hop on over to Alex Cavanaugh's site to visit other blogs in the Genre Favorites Blogfest!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Crazy week of fun coming up!

This is going to be one insanely busy week! But filled with so many goodies too. Watch for posts every day this week!

Tomorrow's the kickoff for the blog tour for Death Is A Bitch, Bewitching Book Tours did an amazing job of arranging it - there'll be guest posts, interviews, character interviews, and lots of reviews! Woot! Death's a happy girl right now. I hope you'll follow along on her 16-blog whirlwind tour. One commenter will win an ebook of Death Is A Bitch at the end of the tour.

Tomorrow's also the Genre Favorites blog hop put together by the Ninja himself, Alex J. Cavanaugh. A fun peek into everyone's favs in musics, books and movies!

Wednesday through Saturday, I'm part of TRS' End of Summer Bash. Enter to win an ebook, winner's choice, of one of my 1NS series ebooks released by Decadent Publishing. I may throw in a few other giveaways with my posts, too. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Do you have grit?

Or, why love is the opposite of underwear.

In the video below, Jonah Lehrer (who, I believe, must be one of those voice-over announcers who talk faster than the ear can process) talks about the age-old idea of creativity. At 30+ minutes, it's long but interesting enough to keep your attention. (Unfortunately, Lehrer's grit was recently exposed as overly ambitious - he made up quotes for his Dylan book and his bestselling titles have been removed. Sad, all that work trashed, and for what? The quotes probably added little, if anything, to the overall work.)

Monday, September 10, 2012

Warp speed ahead

I didn't think it possible but at this rate, Autumn may be more of a blur going past than summer was. There's a crazy lot o'stuff going on!

First, the blog tour for Death Is A Bitch is really coming together. I'm so grateful to Bewitching Book Tours for arranging it all so quickly. I spent the weekend preparing blog posts, and starting Sept. 17, Death will be off and running! Or flying actually seems more appropriate. Death does wear gold stilettos, after all. :) The tour ends Sept. 24.

It will, however, overlap with  the TRS End of Summer Bash, which runs from Sept. 19 through 22.

Next, the Halloween event took on a life of its own. Once I put word out, I was deluged with requests from authors. So the three-times-per-week blogging schedule went right out the window, and I now have guest authors every weekday in October. Whew! It'll be crazy but so much fun. I absolutely love Halloween! In addition to interviews, I'll share some Halloween videos, spooky tales and superstitions, recipes and maybe throw in a few giveaways of my own.

I'm joining in a blog hop for Banned Books Week, so watch for that from Sept. 26 through Oct. 6. (Another overlap, adding to the craziness. Please bear with me!)

Yes, I am definitely crazy but I'm also joining in two Halloween blog hops, with more giveaways. Hey, that's what the holiday's all about - treats!

By the way, I found my special Halloween event "greeter" in the Microsoft images that came with my computer. Isn't she cool? :) Just don't make her angry. You won't like her when she's angry! Maybe you should plan on visiting throughout October...

Writer Friend's News
Congrats to Lorrie Unites-Struiff on A Heap of Trouble!
I had the pleasure of critiquing Lorrie's story, so can honestly recommend this fun read - not your usual Western historical. Stories of redemption are always easy sells for me, and this story gives that to readers for both the hero and heroine.

Cole Walker, Sheriff of Cold Creek, has more woes than he can handle.

He thought chasing rustlers would be the worst of his problems, until Mattie Wells, the new gal in town, jingles his spurs with just a smile, and he falls head over heels.

Then he finds a runaway monkey under his desk, and his inclination is to get rid of him. Cole has this fear of critters that goes back a mighty long way, so the sooner the better.

But Mattie thinks Beggar’s adorable, so what’s a man supposed to do? Now, he’s forced to put up with the little fur ball...uh...ringtail monkey, even when the furry thief starts stealing the townsfolk’s trinkets.

Then there’s the matter of the cattle rustlers who keep stealing the Double J’s cattle. JJ blames the farmers, the farmers don’t like JJ, and an all-out war is about to commence.

Cole and his deputies, Wade and Sully, have their hands full trying to keep the uneasy peace between the farmers and the cattleman. As if that’s not enough pressure, Mayor Farley gives them a month to find the thieves before he calls for outside help.

Cole’s trying to win Mattie’s heart, but the little lady has a dark secret and vows never to marry. While harboring a secret of his own, Cole tries to pry out her secret, in hopes of changing her mind.

Cole chases Mattie, the rustlers, and Beggar in a town full of fun characters and chaos.

Can he bring the rustlers to justice, peace and order to Cold Creek, the townsfolk’s loot back to their rightful owners, and win Mattie’s heart?

Yep, Cole has a heap of trouble on his hands.

Releases Friday from MuseItUp Publishing, but you can preorder it on sale! Go lasso a copy!

Thanks to all who downloaded Angels, Sinners and Madmen
It climbed to #16 on the Historical Fiction bestseller list, and #20 on the Historical Romance bestseller list.  Readers in the U.K., Germany, Spain, Italy and France downloaded copies - such a thrill! And a real thrill to see it on the bestseller list. I hope you enjoy reading it! I certainly enjoyed writing it.

Finally, thanks for visiting me at Author Roast and Toast
Those hostesses know how to throw a bash! It's always a blast to visit there.
Congrats to lavendersbluegreen, who won the giveaway of ebook of A Midwest Summer Night's Dream, my Western historical with a Shakespearean twist. If I've piqued your interest, you can learn more here.

Friday, September 7, 2012

My Key West historical is free for three days

Angels, Sinners and Madmen is free starting today, and running through Sunday. I hope you'll grab a copy from Amazon. It would be a huge thrill to see this one in the bestseller list too.

Set in 1850s Key West, Florida, Angels, Sinners and Madmen brings to life the time of the wreckers - men who salvaged ships that wrecked along the reefs bordering the island. Some say the wreckers were only thieves, or worse, but my research didn't bear that out. Most were men of honor who valued human life over everything, and saved so many people from watery graves - in turbulent water, without benefit of oxygen tanks. They could hold their breath for up to six minutes! I found it so fascinating during a visit to the island, The story actually flashed through my head during a visit to the wrecker museum, and had to know more about the wreckers, so bought up every book I could find, and found great treasures of documents in the library. Although it took a few years to finally finish, the result was this novel.

Is it hot in here?
Today, the ladies at Author Roast and Toast are helping me celebrate its re-release! Yep, I'm being roasted at So come on over and join the beach party, complete with umbrella drinks, Key Lime pie and all the island goodies.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Insecure Writers: Exposed!

Many professionals suffer this fear - that one day, someone will walk in, point an accusing finger and state out loud what everyone everywhere has been secretly thinking: "You are a fraud!"

I like to take the positive approach that maybe the fear arises out of the desire to be better at what we do. It's not as if others don't struggle with the same insecurity; at some point, I think most people harbor this type of self-doubt.

The cure? For me, it's to work harder. And always strive for the next level.

I think I read somewhere that it takes at least ten thousand hours to become an expert at whatever you do. That's a very long time, and speaks to the old adage that perseverance is every bit as important as talent. It's some consolation to believe that my best writing is still ahead of me, and I can't get there unless I just keep writing, writing and writing some more.

It seems my every Insecure Writers post always ends with: never never never give up! But it's true.

Hang in there, everyone. And visit the Ninja Captain Alex for links to the others in this great group. Thanks, Alex, for launching the Insecure Writers.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Labor of love

Happy Labor Day! The holiday is supposed to be one of kicking back and relaxing, but I always try to spend at least part of it doing what I love best: writing. For me, it's not work. When I get into a story flow, hours can fly by like minutes. Afterward, I know I've been in The Zone - a sublime place where nothing exists but my characters. I'm in their world, separate from time and space. If I'm very lucky, it's flowing so fast that I'm simply transcribing, fingers scrambling across the keyboard to keep up.

One of my challenges is balance. Sometimes I have to remind myself to step away, even if I've hit that wonderful flow. Without my family, my writing would mean nothing. They've been such a huge support throughout the process, especially my hubby.

This weekend I was lucky enough to have a brief visit with my family back home in New Jersey. I spent Friday night with two dear friends I've known since grade school, whose friendship has also sustained me through many ups and downs. Later, I spent precious time with some of my brothers and sisters on the banks of the Delaware River. The town celebrated the last of summer with its final fireworks display.

My little camera doesn't like night photos much, so these aren't the best quality, but I do kind of like the second one - a reflection of the fireworks in the river, and some of the nearby boats. A moody shot.

On the topic of balance, I've had to decide what to do about TBR. I launched it in January with the aim of hosting other authors, and while it's seen some success, it doesn't seem to be reaching enough readers. I don't have time to properly promote it except through Facebook and hosting blurb fests. Keeping up two blogs has been difficult but I don't want to give up on TBR. I have decided to cut back, though - from three authors a week to two, and no Featured Author of the month. I'll try that schedule for six months, and if my time craziness eases, I may go back to three authors. We'll see how it goes.

To balance it out, I am going to host more authors on my own blog in the future, though. I've missed having guests here! In October (wow, next month already! I have to get busy organizing), I'll have a monthlong Halloween celebration. Any fantasy/paranormal authors who want to join in, just drop me a note! I'd love to have you.

I'm also going to revive the author chat I used to have, with the new name of Spilling the Beans. That will likely start in November, after the Halloween bash. I found these two cute graphics on Dreamstime for event badges.

Hope you're celebrating the holiday with those you love!