Monday, March 30, 2009

Fun with Web Design...

In light of all my exciting new writing developments, I decided the old website could use a little overhaul. It has now been hauled over (mostly). The current incarnation, which I like to think of as Death by Purple, is still a work in progress. This weekend I wanted to make it pretty (and current). Next weekend I'm going to make it functional (and clean up the disastrously untidy code).

So, I invite you, faithful reader, to pop on over to le website ( and give it a look-see. I welcome all comments on the good, the bad and the ugly. But keep in mind two things: 1) It's a work in progress, so please, be gentle. And 2) I am the website dictator and my word is law. Your feedback is welcome, but I rule the world. Mwa-ha-ha.

And just cuz I feel like airing some pet peeves... Some things that will never be on my blog/website:
1) Music the plays automatically.
2) Videos that play automatically.
3) Any flash stuff that requires me to hit "Skip" before I can enter the homepage. Grrrrrr.

Wanna share your pet peeves?

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Last Chance to Vote for the American Title V Winner!

Okay, I promise this is the absolute last time I will nag you about voting for the American Title Contest. Today is the last (final! ultimate! ain't no more!) day of voting. I've heard some scuttlebutt that this is the last year Romantic Times and Dorchester are going to do the American Title Contest. Which means this may very well be your last chance ever to let your vote be heard!


And just in case you're still fence sitting... here are a few words from my fellow Seattle-ite, American Title Finalist Marie-Claude Bourque:

My entire life, I thought that writing was such a far-fetched dream that it would never be for me. I chose a "serious" life instead pushing that dream aside. After 4 sciences degrees, motherhood and 15 years in the fitness business helping other achieve their weight-loss dreams, I took a chance. For 6 months, I carved time every morning by getting up at 5 am to write a book. This book is ANCIENT WHISPERS. It is now [just a few votes] away from being published.

I believe that life is so short that we have to give our dream a chance. My dream is to see my name on the cover of a paperback romance novel.

Help Marie-Claude achieve her dream!

If you missed the ANCIENT WHISPERS Book Trailer on the blog last week, click here for a look back.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

More Good News!

It's official! Tripping on the heels of my Golden Heart final... I sold another novella! I am not a One Book Wonder! My new novella, Serengeti Heat, a steamy lion-shifter romance, will be part of the July sexy shape-shifter anthology from Samhain. Woohoo!

Also appearing in the anthology will be The Man of Her Dreams by Robie Madison & Kiss and Kin by debut author Kinsey W. Holley!

Serengeti Heat is a departure from The Ghost Shrink (et al). Less har-de-har-har and more bow-chicka-bow-wow. And I must say, it was fun testing my boundaries on the sexy side of the scale. Fear not, faithful reader, I am not abandoning the laugh track for good, but I might have to visit the lion pride again in the future.

Le question du jour: Is laughter really the best aphrodisiac or do you think there is a natural seriousness to the sensuous?

And one more time: WOOOOOHOOOOOOOOOO!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Interviewed at Musetrackers!

Oh, jeez, I'm a moron! I thought I posted this earlier, but apparently not. Note to self: Publish post. Do not save post. Arg. I keep doing that! Okay, one more time:

American Title V Finalist Marie-Claude Bourque interviewed me today over at Musetracks! Come on over and say hello!

And if you haven't already voted get over to the American Title website and cast your ballot! (Marie-Claude Bourque Ancient Whispers Marie-Claude Bourque Ancient Whispers Marie-Claude Bourque Ancient Whispers <- You like my oh-so-subtle subliminal messages?) Don't delay! Voting ends Sunday!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Emotional Hangover

You know that feeling, the day after something amazing has happened, when you wake up tired because your body still hasn't recovered from the adrenaline jag you were on for fifteen hours straight the previous day? When all of those buzzy little endorphins that turned your body into a walking Disneyland have burned off and you are left feeling like a cheap carnival the morning after, with sticky walkways and the smell of stale corndogs floating in the air? I'm there. (Though, I have to admit I did celebrate heartily yesterday, so my hangover might not be entirely emotional.)

I still have all the same reasons to be deliriously happy - and for the record, I am still deliriously happy - but my body has had enough fun and games and has decided I must be exhausted even though I just slept for a solid eight hours (which is longer than my usual). I'm not let down; I'm just worn out. Give me a sec to get my wind back and I'll be Disneyland again.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


Easy Money finaled in the Single Title Contemporary category of the Golden Heart! Aaaaaaaaaaaaah!

I know I don't deserve all of the luck I'm having right now. And I know some of you out there are wondering how the heck I am even eligible for the Golden Heart, since I have a novella out. Well, the trick is, it's a hella short novella. Less than 20,000 words. So ta-da! Eligibility! And I am such a greedy, greedy girl that I entered the Golden Heart and now I've FINALED. Jesus Aitch. I'm a Golden Heart Finalist. That thud you just heard was me fainting into a heap on the floor.

And a GREAT BIG CONGRATULATIONS to all the other finalists in the Golden Heart & RITA Awards!

THIS JUST IN: My good friend Kelly Fitzpatrick also finaled! With her AMAZING manuscript Pleasant Lake PD in the Novel with Romantic Elements category! WOOOHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Waiting for Elmo

It's that time of year, ladies and gentlemen. The time when all the eager Golden Heart entrants wait anxiously by their phones for news of who will forever be able to add "Golden Heart Finalist" to their signature lines. In honor of this nail-biting time, I thought we could all use some Muppet humor and a little Becket.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Advice to Aspiring Authors...


This Public Service Announcement is now complete. Return to regular programming.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Wow. Just wow.

I just got another insanely kickass review: 5 Stars from Ecataromance! "A laugh out loud roller coaster ride." Woohoo! Check it out!

I have two questions:

1) When does bragging about your reviews become annoying? I've already passed that point, haven't I? You're collecting rotten tomatoes to chuck at me, aren't you?

2) Who is feeding the reviewers the happy pills before they read my book and can I have a little of whatever they are smoking? Not to question their superlative judgement in any way, but I'm starting to wonder if my publisher is passing out hits of laughing gas with the reviewer copies. Or am I really this lucky?

Interesting side note about this particular review: At one point the reviewer referred to me as Ms. Tyler. Psychic! How did she know about my deep and abiding passion for Aerosmith? Oh, Steven. *sigh* I want your love. Let's break the walls between us. Don't make it tough. I've put away my pride. Enough's enough. I've suffered and I've seen the light. Bay-ee-yay-ee-bay, you're my aaaaangel. Come and save me tonight...

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

DABWAHA 2009 is here!

I know what you're thinking. What on earth is DABWAHA, right? Well, folks, DABWAHA is the Dear Author Bitchery Writing Award for Hellagood Authors. And it's interactive! Woot!

Step one: Go there (TODAY!! The brackets are locked in at 11PM ET tonight) and fill out your NCAA-esq bracket to guess the winners.

Step two: Return and vote for your favs during the various and sundry rounds o' voting.

Step three: Win mad prizes, including a shiny new Sony eReader. Oooooh. Aaaaaaah.

Want more details? Check out Dear Author or Smart Bitches for the skinny, the lowdown, and the 411... as well as more reviews than you can shake a stick at. Although why you would shake a stick at reviews is beyond me.

Go forth and conquer, my friends. And may the schwartz be with you.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Pillowtalk Tuesday

I'm being interviewed over at Michelle Pillow's Blog today where one lucky commenter will WIN a copy of The Ghost Shrink, the Accidental Gigolo & the Poltergeist Accountant. Stop on by and join the fun!

Monday, March 16, 2009

American Title V: Vote Now!

And then there were two.

It's come down to this, ladies and gentlemen. The final round of Romantic Times American Title V Contest is upon us. What is this American Title contest, you ask? In a nutshell, it's American Idol for romance novelists and your votes will determine which one of these two deserving finalists will be walking away with a publishing contract from Dorchester Publishing! Each of the final two contestants have posted a romance scene from their books to induce you to pick them. Go, read, vote!

Now, I confess, I have a bit of a bias where this contest is concerned. One of the final two, Marie-Claude Bourque, author of the sultry paranormal Ancient Whispers, is a member of my local writing chapter. It's such a thrill to see her doing so well and it couldn't be happening to a nicer person. I've posted her book trailer here for your viewing pleasure:


Saturday, March 14, 2009

Outside the Box

This morning I was filling out my passport renewal forms and I got stuck. One of the little drop down menus confused the hell out of me. I began calling family members, begging for assistance. It is a tribute to how bizarre some of my conversations with my family are that none of them were thrown for even a second when the first words out of my mouth were not "Hello" or any varietal thereof, but rather "Mom, what color are my eyes?"

See, I'd always thought that hazel meant changeable. Apparently I was wrong. Hazel (adj.) 1. of a light brown or yellowish brown color. My eyes are sort of a bluish-greenish-greyish mutable color with a ring of yellow-brown right around the pupil. The passport form's dropdown menu didn't have an option for that.

The debate raged on. My father thought "blue-green" should be an option (yeah, well, tell that to the US Passport Service) while my mother argued that "there are many different kinds of blue." My aunt didn't think I could qualify for hazel since my eyes never look fully brown. When informed that my eyes often change color based on what I'm wearing, she wanted to know what color they are when I'm not wearing anything. Logical, but since I plan on wearing clothing while traveling in and out of the country... I ended up going with grey, because, as my best friend said, "Grey is the most like both green and blue somehow."

Now why am I burdening you with all this ridiculous babble about eye color? Cuz it's a metaphor, baby!

My eyes don't always fit into the same neat little box, and neither does my writing. This is actually something I've been worrying about quite a bit lately. As writers, we are told that we need to brand ourselves. The Ghost Shrink (et al) is clearly a paranormal romantic comedy. And so will The Ghost Exterminator be. However, I recently wrote a lion shape-shifter novella that is in no way comedy and several degrees steamier. If that gets published, are my readers going to rebel? I'm also puttering away at a dark-actiony-psychic novel. Is that a mistake?

All these books are paranormal, but am I sabotaging my career with these blue-green-grey shifts? When a reader picks up a book by a certain author, aren't they trusting that author to give them what they got before? Is writing a career in which it is necessary to think inside the box? (Or at least pick one box and stick to it?)

Genre-jumping is okay, but is it only okay when the genres being jumped between are so drastically different there could be no confusion? Once you have branded yourself, are you stuck? If that's true, I might be in trouble. I've never been very good at sticking.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Guest-blog-tastic: No regrets, baby!

Check me out, y'all. I'm over at Naughty & Spice today blogging about taking life in big bites, grabbing the bull by the horns (Dodgeball, anyone?) and going for it with no regrets!

And if that wasn't enough for you, the Tickle My Fantasy girls are chatting it up at the Samhain Cafe this morning (7:30-8:30am Pacific).

AND we're giving away a set of all four of the Tickle My Fantasy stories at Barbara Fey's Publishers Weekly Anniversary Blog Party today!

It's a Bermuda triangle of online goodness. Happy Friday the 13th!

Thursday, March 12, 2009


The Ghost Shrink, the Accidental Gigolo & the Poltergeist Accountant was selected as a Reviewer's Top Pick for February at ParaNormal Romance Reviews! How much does that rock?

And in other news, I have not yet managed to kill the Paperwhite bulbs on my desk. They are growing and flowering, if you'll believe it. My black thumb has not yet managed to send them to the terrifying flower hell which is the usual destination for all plants unlucky enough to live (and die) within a five foot radius of me. Woohoo! A good day, all the way around.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Another Day, Another Chance to Win...

Scavenger Hunt!

Just in case you thought there weren't enough chances to win fabulous free things this week for Read an eBook Week... there is a new Scavenger Hunt every day this week through Saturday at the Samhellion! And, yes, ladies and gentlemen, one of the lucky Scavenger Hunt winners will receive a free download of The Ghost Shrink, the Accidental Gigolo & the Poltergeist Accountant. Already read it? Never fear! Dozens of other Samhain authors are also supplying fabulous prizes. So CLICK HERE NOW and enter for your chance to win!

I am such a five-year-old. I love love love Scavenger Hunts. Not as much as I love trivia games, but it's a close call. I live for pub quizzes and remain undefeated at Scene It. I may have a terrible memory for names & faces, but random, useless information sticks in my brain forever, making me a trivia juggernaut. So what's your favorite game/challenge/contest? Do you prefer games of luck or skill?

Monday, March 9, 2009

Read an eBook Week!

It's Read an eBook Week!!!

What does that mean, you may ask? Well, in addition to other online wild and craziness, it means that all this week at the Samhain Cafe participants will be winning beaucoup prizes - including two Samhain books a day, author giveaways, and one grandprize eBookwise! Pictured right there. Hot stuff, eh?

You like free stuff? Go! Grab with both hands! Get yourself some chances to win some free stuff! (And while you're at it, get some for me, eh?)

What am I doing for Read an eBook Week? The Tickle My Fantasy posse will be taking the Samhain Cafe by storm on Friday (the 13th! ooooh) morning (7:30am Pacific) to chat about superstitions. And yes, free stuff will be had, if basking in our collective glow is not enough to induce you.

Since we're honoring eBooks: What was the first eBook you ever read?

And, if you're feeling curmudgeonly (second use of that word in two days! yeah, baby!), then tell me what your least favorite "Week" or "Day" is? (Anyone who says "Talk Like a Pirate Day" is a least fav is automatically booted off the blog. Seriously. Or rather, it should be, anyone anti-pirate will be forced to walk the plank, matey. Yar.)

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Chatting Now!

Some lovely Samhain authors (including yours truly) are chatting it up at today. Drop on by and post for a chance to win a free Samhain ebook of your choice!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Pandering for Votes

I would never make it as a politician; I feel all self-conscious and weird whenever I have to ask someone to vote for me for any reason. So today, I am not asking for your vote. I'm just doing a little PSA to let you know that there are a couple opportunities for you to vote for The Ghost Shrink, the Accidental Gigolo & the Poltergeist Accountant out there, and I leave it entirely up to you whether you choose to pursue those opportunities.

Opportunity #1: The Ghost Shrink is up for Book of the Week at Long and Short Reviews! All this weekend you can vote for your fav book (based on the LASR reviews) and the winner will be featured next week! Vote here (if you want).

Opportunity #2: The Ghost Shrink is up for Best Cover for January & February at Book Cover Lovers! I think the voting runs until the 15th on this one. Vote here (if you feel like it).

And speaking of voting, what do you think of all these reality shows where "America Decides" like American Idol, Dancing with the Stars and So You Think You Can Dance? Are they gimmicky popularity contests that have nothing to do with talent? Or is the decision of the masses the truest measure of success? I have to say that I, personally, am bugged by the trend in our culture in which popularity is more valued than quality. Where do you stand?

Friday, March 6, 2009

Watchmen ***Lots of Spoilers***

I love movies and I love superheroes, so there are few things more absolutely guaranteed to get my butt into the seats on opening day than a superhero movie. I wanted to love Watchmen. I wanted it to be perfect.

I am sad to report that it was not perfect. It wasn't bad, but it just didn't make the A+++ grade I had hoped it would achieve. I know that my expectations were too high. If I'd expected crap, I probably would be hailing it as brilliant right now. Unfortunately, I did not expect crap and I am left with distinctly mixed feelings about this movie. Oddly enough, my four main complaints are also four of the things that I liked the most.

1) Music. The use of Nat King Cole's Unforgettable and Jimmy Hendrix's Watchtower were both inspired, in my opinion. But the romantic moment when a dolled up Silk Spectre sees the dorkily dolled up Nite Owl in a slow-mo romantic montage... accompanied by 99 Red Balloons?!? What kind of crack were they smoking when they made that musical choice? I know it's the 80s, but please. Just please.

2) Little Moments. There were little moments of brilliance (I looooved the Smiley face with the drop of blood flipping down any time it did any flipping) and there were moments of gratuitous ridiculousness (SEX! SEX! SEX!) and moments of almost insulting heavy-handedness (really? we needed that flashback? cuz the movie is so fricking long we can't remember that scene from the beginning? Arg. I have a thing about flashbacks. They should convey new information to the viewer, otherwise, they should go die on the cutting room floor with the unnecessary, clinically unromantic, gratuitous SEX! SEX! SEX! scenes).

3) Casting. Again, a mixed bag. Rorschach was amazing. Beyond amazing. He rocked my world. Good lord that man was perfect. Heaven. I will build monuments to him. The Comedian also kicked some ass. Perfectly cast. I hated the wimpy annoying Nite Owl, but I think I was supposed to find the quitter pathetic, so that kinda worked for me. And Billy Cruddup was Billy Cruddup. 'Nuf said. There were really only two casting choices that had me doing a double take. 1) Malin Akerman as Silk Spectre (the younger) and 2) Matthew Goode as Ozymandias. Okay, so here are my issues. The second incarnation of Silk Spectre is supposed to be young isn' t she? A nubile young thing. She is referred to as "jailbait" (though admittedly that is during a flashback). Malin Akerman is thirty and looks like she could easily play older. Seriously? Jailbait? And the romance between her and Nite Owl just did not play. Can we say complete lack of chemistry, boys and girls? Then there was Ozymandias. I'm sorry, but the man last seen Chasing Liberty is not my idea of a highly cerebral, faster-than-a-speeding-bullet supervillain. His babyface and weird accent made him seem almost effeminate (was he supposed to be gay?) which might have worked if he were even remotely imposing. That boy is not a captain of industry and he sure as hell isn't "the smartest man in the world" which he is called. Repeatedly. I didn't buy it. Which meant he wasn't credible as a threat. Which totally diffused the tension of the big finish. Bummer bummer bummer.

4) Mythology/Worldbuilding. One of my favorite things about paranormal movies & books is being taken into the world. Learning the mythology of that reality. This world was supposed to be a fairly tight parallel to ours (drifting off most drastically when we won Vietnam with the help of Dr. Manhattan & re-elected Nixon five times). So how do these superheroes become superheroes? Genesis is important in any hero flick, but this is glossed over pretty quickly in Watchmen. And, from what I can tell, only Dr. Manhattan suffered an accident that turned him super. All of the others just put on masks. No radio-active spiders. No aliens from Krypton. No Bruce Wayne gadgets. No mutant DNA. Nada. So here is my question: how exactly are they so much stronger and faster than the plebeian bad guys they kick the crap out of? When Nite Owl & Silk Spectre are surrounded by a gang of thugs with weapons, outnumbered at least ten to one, how do they come away without a scratch? Is it superior training? What makes them so special? I'm not questioning that they are special; I just want to know how.

That's it. I really did like this movie. I swear. But I wanted so badly to love it, which I just couldn't do.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Ignorance is *!@#)$*!

I've said in the past that I hate the waiting that is so much a part of the publishing biz. I'd like to retract that statement. I don't actually hate waiting. I don't have a problem with waiting at all. What I have a problem with is not knowing. Ignorance sucks. As soon as I know what to expect, I can anticipate the good and plan for the bad. I'm a big planner. One might even say I am a compulsive planner. Unfortunately, you can't make plans if you don't know what's coming at you. The not knowing drives me nuts.

I got a rejection today from an agent I queried last April. Just your standard, "Thanks for submitting... careful consideration... no thanks." I can't say I'm traumatized by the rejection. After eleven months, I'm just grateful I got a response at all. Now I know. (Yay!) I get to tick that one off my list of dangling submissions, polish up my proposal, and send another soldier out into the fray. Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more!

I don't know who said Ignorance is bliss, but I beg to differ. Knowledge is bliss. Ignorance is annoying as hell.

But I suppose I can see the other side of the argument. If you don't know that you've been rejected yet, you can still entertain the fantasy that the agent loves you beyond all reason, they will sell your manuscript for a bazillion dollars in the largest publishing deal in the history of the world and you will be given an express pass to wealth and fame. Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous will do a feature on your private yacht and George Clooney will get down on his knees and beg to meet you - and wouldn't he be just perfect to play your hero in the blockbuster smash film-adaptation of your book?

It's a pretty thought, but I think I'd still rather know. What about you? Ignorance is bliss? Or ignorance is agony?

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

5 Books!

Long and Short Reviews reveiwed my book and they liked it! They really liked it! 5 Books! Woohoo!

I continued to be utterly blown away by the reception The Ghost Shrink is getting. Everyone has been so positive so far, and I am thrilled to pieces, but I have to admit I'm kind of waiting for the other shoe to drop. I'm fairly certain there has never been a book in the history of man that was universally liked, so I'm holding my breath and waiting for the reviewer's equivalent of a body slam. I have a feeling it's coming.

Not that I'm pessimistic, or that I want people not to like my book. It's more a case of wanting to make sure my big fat head doesn't get overinflated. Writing is a tricky game. A balancing act between confidence & uncertainty. We need to love our words beyond all reason, but I think one of the worst things that can happen to a writer is to start believing your own hype. If you think you're a rockstar, then you stop striving and the striving is what makes great books.

I'm overanalyzing this, aren't I? It's just a review, Vivi! And a positive one at that! Enjoy it!

And I do. Thank you, Long & Short Reviews!

So here's the question: Do you ever buy a book based on a good review? Is there a particular reviewer you tend to agree with/take recommendations from?

Monday, March 2, 2009

And the Winner is...

Congratulations to the winner of the Gigolo Contest:

And the runner-up, receiving a free copy of The Ghost Shrink, the Accidental Gigolo & the Poltergeist Accountant is:
Amy S.!!!

Thank you to everyone who entered and congratulations to both of our lucky winners! Kytaira & Amy S., please email me at to arrange delivery of your prizes!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Last Chance to enter the Gigolo Contest!

Zounds! Is it March already? You know what that means, folks. Today is your last chance to comment here on the blog to be entered to win the Gigolo Contest! The winner will be announced here shortly after midnight tonight (Pacific time). And just because I feel like it, I'm going to draw a second name. This runner-up will receive a copy of The Ghost Shrink, the Accidental Gigolo & the Poltergeist Accountant in the electronic format of your choice.

It's been a crazy month, boys and girls. All of the Tickle My Fantasy books released, getting some great reviews and making it onto the MBaM Top 10 (The Ghost Shrink is still hanging in at #9 after nine days on the list!). I've been wallowing in the new release high and enjoying running my first ever contest here at the blog.

Now that the contest is drawing to a close, I find myself thinking, "Where do we go from here?" What direction is my blog going to take post-gigolo-madness? That's where you come in.

The Final, Last, Ultimate, Ain't-No-More Gigolo Question: What do you look for in a blog? A set schedule? More free-form? Guest bloggers? Interviews of other authors? Info on new releases? Quotes? Craft tips? A window into the life of the writer? What do you like to see on a blog?
**Newsflash! Carolina Wolf by Sela Carsen is up for Book of the Week at Long & Short Reviews! She's in third place right now in votes. Let's make this Tickle My Fantasy author number 1!