Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Guitar magic

I've always been captivated by excellent guitar work. I was too young when Jimi Hendrix was alive to appreciate his genius, but have since become slightly addicted to his mellow voice, and his lyrics are as poetic as Dylan's.

But it's his amazing guitar riffs that I love most. He plays as if the guitar is an extension of his body - with his mouth, holding it behind his head. Though I can't listen to music while I'm actually writing, I've spent more than a few nights playing these Hendrix videos.

So wicked good, you have to wonder if some magic's involved. And so, it led me to thinking, what if there were some magic involved? And so, of course, it led to a story.

Yes, the one I've been working on since last year. I wish someone would throw some magic my way so I could finish it! But I'm really excited about what I have so far.

Does music, old or current, influence your stories? Any favorites that grab you and don't let go?

Hanging at the Musa blog today

My interview's up - I hope you'll pop over and say hi! Hey, it's warm and dry, at least. I hope you're staying safe in this crazy weather!

Monday, April 28, 2014

News for your Monday

I hope you had a fantastic weekend! Nothing like good news to brighten a stormy Monday, so I'm sharing some. :)

Congrats to Arlene Webb on the release of her contemporary sweet humorous romance, In Lieu of Flowers! If you're not familiar with Arlene's fantastic work, I highly recommend it. This story's a lot of fun.

Family calls for help and I run to the rescue like I always do, to work cheerfully and politely, for as long as it takes. 
And I wind up in a jam. 
Mocked by flowers and non-existent fiends, I do what comes natural, perfectly normal for a guy who doesn't want to hang in a retail shop or funeral home—I freak out and hide. 
Then—she—joins me in my dark and cramped isolation, and I do something that goes beyond natural, surpasses supernatural and becomes, for me, a cosmic phenomenon. Struck not by lightning, but lust. A once in a blue moon, great-balls-on-fire infatuation. 
To get to the point—without knowing who the girl is, what she looks like, or anything about her—I fall for her. 

My name is Joel. This romance is the story of my death and my life. Trust me, after you read you'll understand.

Amazon Kindle

If you have a hankering to visit Sleepy Hollow, Taryn Kincaid's got an ebook or five to take you there! She's celebrating the release of her latest, In From the Cold, with a 99 cent sale on the previous books. A great time to catch up on this fun paranormal series!

Check 'em out at Decadent Publishing
or at Amazon

As for me, I'm  visiting Avid Readers Haven. Hope you'll pop over and say hi.

I'm also still begging for votes for the cover of A Wedding at the Blue Moon Cafe. Mina Carter did such a fantastic job on the cover art. I hope you'll give it a vote of appreciation at Lolly Tova's Cover Love. Hurry! The contest ends April 30.

Now it's off to work - more edits await. Have a great Monday!

Friday, April 25, 2014

Epic fail

I have to chalk most of this year up to one big fat failure. I haven't been writing, and it's making me miserable. Not at all what I envisioned on January 1.

Until this month, one sickness or another has hit our household. Thank goodness spring is finally here - somewhat. But that story I swore I'd finish in February? Still waiting for me to work on it. Some new ideas have come to me, but I haven't developed them yet.

Not that I've been idle. My editor has kept me plenty busy with edits for Goddess, Awakened. More intense revisions that resulted in more sections cut and rearranged, and more added. A much different - and improved - version of the original. I'm so looking forward to its release on July 7.

Meanwhile, one of my goals was to have a working draft of another Goddess Connection for the workshop in May. Didn't happen. I do have 27k, and a very rough outline, but I'm shooting for at least 60k.

None of it will happen this weekend either. I'm off to my nephew's wedding in northern NJ, with a reception to follow in New York. I'm so happy for them, and happy to be able to share their special day. I'll have some extra baggage though - a half dozen characters and an unfinished plot.

Do you find it agonizing not to be able to squeeze in writing time?

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

JoAnne Myers spills the beans

Welcome, JoAnne! So glad to have you at Spilling the Beans, where we can learn a little bit about you, and your book. 
Why don’t you begin by sharing a little about yourself.

I have been a long-time resident of southeastern Ohio, and worked in the blue-collar industry most of my life. Besides having several novels under my belt, I canvas paint.

When not busy with hobbies or working outside the home, I spend time with relatives, my dog Jasmine, and volunteer my time within the community. I am a member of the International Women’s Writing Guild, Savvy Authors, Coffee Time Romance, Paranormal Romance Guild, True Romance Studios, National Writers Association, the Hocking Hill's Arts and Craftsmen Association, The Hocking County Historical Society and Museum, and the Hocking Hills Regional Welcome Center. I believe in family values and following your dreams. My original canvas paintings, can be found at:

You write in multiple genres and cross genres, such as true crime, mystery, fantasy and paranormal. What appeals to you about these genres?
I have a lot of interests.With fantasy, you have myths, legends, fairy-tales, and your imagination to conjure up a story. With paranormal you have ghosts and the afterlife to play with, and I do believe in an afterlife. True crime is just that, factual details, that someone experienced. Writing mystery is fun because of the mystery and twists and turns involved. The writer must decide who are the good guys, the bad guys, and the type of mystery involved; whether that is a bank heist, a kidnapping, or a buried treasure to search for.

Can you tell us about bit about your books? 
Murder Most Foul, is a detective/mystery. Wicked Intentions, is a paranormal/mystery. The Crime of the Century, is an actual homicide case from my area. Loves, Myths, and Monsters, is a fantasy anthology starring the Chupracabra, the Mothman, reincarnation, time travel, an Egyptian love curse, a demonic cellmate, a Quaker love story set in the 1700's, Werewolves, and a serial killer family from the 1870's.

You also write poetry. Do you find being a poet enhances your writing when penning a novel? 
I think it might help with the romance within a novel. Poetry seems to bring out the passive side of a person, making them more receptive to love.

Can you tell us about your writing process?  Where do your ideas originate?  Do you have a certain writing routine? 
 My monster anthology stemmed from my love for monster movies when I was a child; Count Dracula and the Wolfman. The paranormal anthology came from my watching real life paranormal stories on television, and from a newspaper article. Stories from others who claimed to have experienced ghost encounters and psychic dreams. I don't have a certain writing routine. I just write about what tickles my fancy at the time. Some of my stories took years to complete, others took a few months.  I find true crime stories more difficult and time consuming. The writer must scour court documents, newspaper clippings, interview those involved with the case, which I found to be exhausting. With true crime the writer must get the facts straight, not just make up things as he goes along like I often do with fiction stories.

What is your greatest challenge as a writer?
Becoming successful.

Who has inspired you as an author? 
I have always been able to write and paint, even as a child. I love books by Gregg Olsen, Ann Rule, Ann Rice and Aphrodite Jones.

You are also a painter. Do you find that being an artist helps your writing, in ways such as being able to visualize scenes?
Yes I do believe my painting helps me as a writer. While I paint a scene, whether that be a beach or landscape scene, I often think “wouldn't this be a nice place to write about?”

What’s next for you?
My biography true crime anthology, Twisted Love, is being released May 10, by Black Rose Writing. Later in 2014, Flagitious, a detective/mystery novella anthology will be available through Melange Books. 

Blurbs for Loves, Myths, and Monsters

Welcome To Anna
Little does 17 year old Zoe, realize, but the Chupracabra followed her to Ohio from South America. What happens next is a series of chilling mysteries, and unsuspecting friendships and love.

The Hunter's Bride
When all game warden Daren Abram, had to worry about was which lucky lady to woo, he comes to the realization that his town is being stalked by the reincarnation of the town's legend.

Moon People
For teenage mermaid Constance, coming to the quaint seaside town of Willowick, is heavenly, until she falls for mortal boy Drake. For the town to survive, Constance is forced to choose between her kind and the boy and town she loves.

The Pack
When young Lycan Sonny Red Blanket, a Shawnee Indian falls for mortal girl Drenda Way, he must save her from his fellow Lycan's and stop a werewolf uprising.

The Bidding
Apiologist 34-year-old Duncan McPherson goes to Circleville, Ohio, to investigate a series of mysterious bee attacks. What is uncovered proves to be more dark and sinister then anyone imaged.

The Agreement
Incarcerated in the abandoned Roseville jail, is the last thing rich college student and speeder Brice Conrad, needs. With an "agreement" between the town and a permanent demonic "guest", only the unfortunate ones know the truth, but do not live to tell.

For The Love Of Ginnie
Handsome bachelor and Scientist Alex Anderson from the thirtieth century, returns to the Civil War with time serum to save his beloved Ginnie Wade from a snipers bullet, while finding a roller coaster ride of joy and perils.

Is It Only A Myth?
When 32-year-old Vinton County Sheriff, James "Jim" Connors, discovers he has a Mothman hunting in his county, he stops at nothing to save his citizens.

The Proposition
The rough and ready cowboy John Queenie gets the shock of his life, when the ad to break a "wild filly" turns out to be a fiery Quaker girl named Tess. This is a story proving love conquers all.

The House On Shady Lane
A seemingly loving family turns out to be serial killers in 1873.

Love's Curse
When an Egypt love curse scroll is stolen from a Dean's office, persons begin dying in bizarre and grisly ways, with the college's mascot a Viking King statue jokingly blamed for it.


LULU in print


Thanks for visiting, JoAnne! Best of luck to you.

Monday, April 21, 2014

At Deanna's Tidbits today

I hope you'll pop over and visit me at Deanna Jewel's blog, Deanna's Tidbits. Another great blog to bookmark!

Also, if you haven't cast a vote yet for my Wedding at the Blue Moon Cafe cover, I hope you'll consider giving it a click. It needs more votes to win!

I hope you had a fun, relaxing holiday weekend. The weather was amazing here - hope it was for you too!

I posted these photos on my FB page already but they're so cheerful I wanted to share them here too. I am loving all these signs of spring.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Have a wonderful holiday!

No matter how you celebrate the season, I hope you have a wonderful time with those you love.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Two clicks, por favor?

I never, ever win these things. And I really want to!

For my contemporary, A Wedding at the Blue Moon Cafe, Mina Carter designed a lovely cover deserving of a win. I would so appreciate a vote at April's Cover Love Poll:

This one's very easy - no registering, just go to the site and vote with two clicks. 

Danka, gracias, merci, thank you very much!

Have a great day!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Casting Call: Meilin and The Challenger

While Meilin and the Challenger is loosely based on the Grimm tale, The Twelve Dancing Princesses, it does not, by necessity, have a huge cast. Twelve sisters is too much for one story, though the Grimms may not have thought so. :)  In my modern version, I name less than half, and only three play major roles. Meilin, of course, is the heroine.

The sisters, all adopted, are all the same age, but the others sometimes tease the heroine, Meilin, because she's technically the youngest. (As the youngest of seven, I sympathize with her!)

Their father, who's also mayor of the futuristic City, had them privately tutored, so the girls are well-educated. Their skills go way beyond academics, and they love to put their knowledge to practical use in their private lab.

Meilin puts her technical expertise to work on several systems to eliminate the zombie colony beyond City. Its boundaries sometimes feel like a prison and she wants to break free, and help other cities reopen by using her knowledge where needed.

Lucy Liu was always Meilin in my head.

Four years of military service left Will disillusioned. Returning home to the awful conditions in City, he realizes life will never be worthwhile until the zombies are destroyed. He doesn't have much left to lose, and everything to gain - especially Meilin. Had she not been privately schooled, he'd have made a play for her a long time ago.

Once he discovers she has the same goal in mind - eradicating the zombies - he's ready to take them on.

Ryan Gosling's quiet intensity makes him perfect as Will.

Zoe's technically the oldest of the sisters, and takes the role, and life, seriously. She's bossy and tough, aggressive and abrasive.

Uma Thurman would make a wonderful Zoe.

Lakshme's very close to Meilin, but also tries to be Switzerland during battles between the two. Like her sisters, she's a genius at technical systems, and is pretty handy with a gun, too.

Wonderful accent and all, Reshma Shetty is Lakshme.

Mr. King adopted his twelve daughters as infants, but unfortunately his wife died a few years later. He did his best to parent them, but after the rise of the zombies, had to leave his position as a scientist to become Mayor of City.

Harrison Ford's lopsided smile always reminded me of my own Dad, so he's Mr. King.

Reconstructed from a zombie attack, Dory was saved before the pathogen fully turned her. Mr. King paid for surgery to amputate and replace her arms and legs, so she jokes there’s not much left of her still human except her heart. Half her face is reconstructed because the zombie went for her brains. She’s fiercely dedicated to the girls, and in love with Mr. King.

I always imagined Jeri Ryan as Dory.

Nevin Duquesne came to a tragic end - so everyone thought. Until he reappeared as a zombie. Once Mr. King's trusted advisor and friend, now Nevin has no conscience, and his only motivations are greed and revenge.

Gary Oldman would be wonderful as Nevin. 

So other than the requisite extras, that's the cast of Meilin and The Challenger. Hope you've enjoyed this Casting Call.  

Available from Smashwords

Friday, April 11, 2014

Release day for Meilin and the Challenger!

What makes a Friday extra happy? When it's release day!

Today, Musa Publishing released Meilin and the Challenger, my futuristic urban fantasy/fairy tale with zombies and a hot guy on a motorcycle!

*tosses cyber confetti*

I love love love this cover. *bows to the cover artist goddess, Kelly Shorten*

I hope you'll check it out. :)

Meilin and The Challenger, Futuristic urban fantasy/fairy tale

Meilin and The Challenger

Futuristic urban fantasy/fairy tale

73 pages

Meilin won’t let a little thing like zombies stand in the way of love or freedom.

Available from:

Barnes and Noble: 

Meilin and The Challenger is a fast, fun read that's a futuristic take on one of my favorite Grimm fairy tales, The Twelve Dancing Princesses. If you're not familiar with this particular Grimm story, you can check it out here. But while the original version contained no zombies, I wanted to give it a modern twist.


Meilin King has never believed in fairy tales. Happy ever afters might have happened in the old days—before zombies. But this is 2089. When her father promises riches to the one who can rid their city of zombies, Meilin and her sisters rush to develop a solution that won’t bankrupt Dad.

The war overseas left Will MacGregor disillusioned, but fighting zombies at home is a cause he can embrace. Meilin’s another. Tough but sweet, she might make him believe in life again, and maybe even love, if she doesn’t kick his ass first.

When zombies kidnap her family, Meilin must rescue them. But can she and Will save them from the worst fate of all?

Reviews (for previous version)

I love fairy tales and zombies, usually not together, but when I saw The 12 Dancing Zombie Killing Princesses I couldn’t help myself.
I’m so glad I didn’t.

The 12 Dancing Zombie Killing Princesses is a short story and I finished it in just a few hours, but boy is there a lot going on. Lots of action, and romance. The zombies in this book aren’t your run of the mill undead, which Will and Meilin figure out quite fast. The plot sucked me in, moving fast and keeping me entertained as well as on the edge of my seat. Each new development pulled me deeper into the story wanting to know what was going to happen and if they would save Meilin’s family.
Dark Divas Reviews - 5 Divas and a Recommended Read!

This is a short book about Will, who returns to City from war wants to become a zombie fighter, on his way home he encounters the 12 adopted daughters of the city's mayor who appear to have some plans of their own ...

Of the 12 girls you only properly get to know Zoe and Meilin who are both wonderfully strong characters, very bright and capable and not at all fond of been treated as mere girls much to Will and their fathers discomfort.  Will is quite sweet but is also a hardened soldier and his main motivation is to help his mother. I found it easy to slip into the authors world and also liked the way she humanised the zombies even if they are the bad guys!

Casting Call - Who did Cate envision in these roles? Find out here.

A click sounded beside him. Meilin propped a rifle to her shoulder and sighted her aim toward the advancing zombies. “Let’s annihilate the party crashers, sisters.”

A lopsided smile quirked his lips. “Not all the party crashers, I hope.”

Her stance steady, she glanced over. “I might spare you.”

Oh hell, I’m in love. Gunfire erupted on either side, but he couldn’t tear his focus from her. Amazing, how she braced against the kick of the rifle—her slight frame absorbed it and she fired away. Like you should be doing.

As trained, he lifted the Uzi. Stunned, he could only watch as the girls split the zombies’ heads with one shot apiece, the most efficient kill he’d ever witnessed. The zombies at the front of the charge fell first. Those in the center scattered to either side. Hell, these women didn’t need his help. If only the soldiers in his platoon had been so deadly accurate.

Better at least try to be helpful. He let the bullets fly. Too bad the walking dead couldn’t run; soon they dropped to the forest floor with the others.

The tallest blonde held a strange set of binoculars to her face. “There, two more getting away.”

Hard to sight them in the dark. He swiveled one of the dance floor spotlights in their direction. Momentarily blinded, the walking dead stopped walking. Meilin and the tall blonde aimed, and their shots cracked the zombies’ heads in two.

Meilin tapped his shoulder. “Aim the light to three o’clock. I think I see a few more.”

She stood so close, he grew woozy. Cherry blossoms. He struggled to fight off her intoxicating scent. He did as she asked, but his acute awareness centered on her. Built the way he liked, petite but powerful. She moved with purpose and grace, surety and intense focus in every action. Like the others, she felled the three zombies with one shot each, in exactly the spot needed for the final kill: their heads. Oh yeah, a woman who knew what she wanted and went after it, a force to be reckoned with.

She rested the rifle butt against her hip. “What do you think, Lakshme? More hiding out there?”

The girl with almond eyes shrugged. “Probably.”

Yeah, most likely. Better make sure. “I’ll do a sweep and check.”

The tallest blonde winced. “By yourself?”

Lakshme smirked. “Aren’t we lucky? Superman’s here.”

Meilin’s gaze swept over him. “Oh, I thought he was the Green Hornet.”

The blonde’s lip curled. “Horn dog, more like.”

What the hell was their problem? “Hey, I’m only trying to help.”

“Good thing.” Lakshme’s voice turned breathy. “We’re helpless girls, after all.”

Oh, man. Great first impression. “No, I didn’t—”

Meilin raised her rifle and shot three times in quick succession. “Three more down. Now we need to find out how many we missed.”

A no-nonsense babe. Excellent.

The tall blonde jumped to the ground. “Pull up the truck so we can dump the bodies. Wouldn’t want to ruin the surprise for any latecomers.” She flashed a sardonic smile and headed for the nearest carcass.

One sister disappeared into the brush. An engine roared, and a delivery truck backed into the site, halted, and the doors flew open.

Once they’d loaded the last of the zombie bodies, Will blew out a breath. The tall blonde latched the door closed. How did they all still appear ready freshly showered and ready for a night of dancing? They had this routine down, to the last detail.

“What now?” he asked.

The tall blonde poked a finger into his chest. “Now you forget everything you saw here, and we won’t have to incinerate you with the rest of them.”

Forget? He glanced at Meilin. Not happening. “You might find me useful. And I want to learn more about your operation. It’s impressive. Mr. King’s looking to hire—”

The blonde grabbed his shirt, her grimace eye level with him. “Don’t ever mention him again.”

Not speak of their father? He studied Meilin for a clue.

She wrenched the blonde’s arm. “Back off, Zoe. He’s harmless.”

Zoe shoved Meilin, who stumbled backward and lost her balance.

Landing on her butt, she looked up at Will with sadness. “Sorry.”

His heart lurched. Hopefully, not sorry she met him. “For what?”

A hard thud to the back of his head came in answer. His knees hit the dance floor, and he toppled over.