Monday, March 31, 2008

Seduced by Darkness Review

I've posted a review for Seduced by Darkness by Delilah Devlin over on the WR Blog.

I gave it two and a half bleeding hearts out of five. Read the review to find out why.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Flash Friday the Second - Ferrety Flash

Over at the WR Forum, we do a picture-prompted 500 word flash activity on a bi-weekly basis and then critique. On the WR Blog, we will share some of these themed pieces, along with other selections every week for Flash Friday.

The picture that inspired this week's collection was chosen by Kat:

And here is my contribution . . .

Ferreted Away

The clacking of Charlene's high heels echoed down the narrow cement hallway as she followed behind the burly institution guard. He ambled, frequently looking over his lump of a shoulder to ogle her. She gave him a saccharine smile every time put an extra flutter in her lashes, which almost had him tripping over his own feet. Distracted was good.

When they'd reached the halfway point, he hunched over and fumbled with the jangling loop of keys on his belt, leering at her. Charlene pulled a small compact mirror out of her gaudy pink shoulder bag, and pretended to check her hair and make-up. The guard didn't notice the tiny red light on the camera at the end of the hall behind them going out. Perfect, she thought, and snapped the compact closed.

"You'll have ten minutes darlin'," he said as he pushed the heavy metal door open for her. "Give 'im a good one."

"Oh, don't worry," Charlene winked, and tapped her fingers on his chest three times, as if she were brushing away crumbs. "I will."

'Samuel', as his nametag said, gave Charlene a crooked, cross-eyed grin as his eyes glassed over with the haze of her dream spell. He was present, but already light-years away. Too easy. She slipped into the visitation room and the door closed behind her.

Another intrusive camera watched from the corner and the scent of pine cleaner assaulted her as she locked eyes with Harold for the first time in months. With a flick of her wrist, that camera too, went out. The love of her life blinked up at her in bewilderment, sallow and scruffy, wrapped in a pristine white straightjacket.

"Harold, it's me!" she said, her voice breaking. A look of shock, and then understanding dawned on his features. She stumbled forward and lunged into his lap, squeezing him tight and covering his face and neck with kisses. She ran her hands down his back and the buckles and straps restraining him slithered loose.

"You shouldn't have come here!" Harold finally choked out before wrapping his arms around Charlene and smothering her with a heated mash of lips.

"Did you really think I would leave you to rot in a drab dump like this?" Charlene scoffed, then stood up.

"Well, no," he chuckled. "So, what's the plan?"

"We walk out," Charlene answered, grinning.

"Simple as that?"

"Well, not precisely," she admitted, drawing a small purple vial from her bag. Before Harold could utter a word in protest, she threw it onto the white tile floor at his feet. It burst, emitting a green vapid cloud that swirled around the figure of Harold, sparkled, and then cleared.

"I'm sorry, darling," Charlene sighed as she scooped up the small ferret that lay curled where Harold had been. "It really was the easiest solution," she added, dropping the squirming bundle into her bag. “You can change back in the car.”

--487 words

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Revenge of the Meme Gods

Here it is in all its resplendent glory - the rest of the 78/26/13 Meme thingamabob. I promised fewer words, so take a rest. I think it speaks for itself . . . Please forgive the silliness. I blame the Red Bull.

Other people who are doing/have done this: Liz, Catherine, Morgan le Fey, Eden, Kat.


1) Three of your favorite movies:

Yes, I'm a nerd. And proud of it.

2) Three kids names:

Hey, it could happen. People name their kids weird things sometimes.

3) Three celeb crushes:

4) Three things you want to do before you die:

A girl can dream, can't she? I didn't say they had to be all at once . . .

5) Three of your favorite musicians:

Extra points if you know who the guy in the middle is.

6) Three physical things about the opposite sex that appeal to you:

7) Three of your favorite hobbies:
Writing, Photoshop, Raising Hell

8) Three of your favorite people you've known in your life:


What? They didn't specify *which* life . . .

9) Three things you really want to do badly right now:

10) Three careers you’re considering/you’ve considered:
professional student, best-selling author, goddess of the underworld

11) Three ways that you are stereotypically a boy:

12) Three ways that you are stereotypically a girl:

13) Three people that I would like to see post this meme:

Andi, Jen, Debbie. Oh, and:

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Introducing Wiley Wednesdays

The Writer's Retreat Group has a new blog where we feature flash fiction, and varied posts by our members on a rotating schedule. It's updated regularly, so check it out sometime:

Writer's Retreat Blog

I'm over there today with a 'Wiley Wednesday' post - a weekly commentary on writing craft. My post is about VOICE - or what I've gathered about it so far.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Catching up . . .

The date is closing in on a deadline I set for myself to get a query submission out. It's for my current WIP, which is also my sweat project - Cloak of Deception. The drafting is coming along nicely, or was rather, before I got heavy into edits and re-writes for the first three chapters. And then there was the dreaded synopsis . . . dun dun dun!

So, as far as sweating goes - I'm lucky that edits count, because I've written about 200 new words in the last week.

The good news is, those first three chapters and the synopsis have polished up better than I could have hoped for, and it's all thanks to some very special folks: All the girls in the Writer's Retreat Group, who pamper me far more than I deserve; my fantabulous, irreplaceable, priceless, anonymous alpha-beta; and my mom. (How cool is that?) I'll be sending off the packet on March 30th, rain or shine.

And after I send it off? That's when the fun really begins. In order to keep myself busy while I wait, I have a mentorship lined up with the very talented Debbie Mumford, which I'm thrilled about, and a TBR list a mile long that I will *finally* get a chance to sink my teeth into. Not to mention the Sweat Challenge and the rest of my WIP list to keep me occupied.

But, basically - if you haven't heard from me, or don't hear from me until around April - please forgive! I'll be back. You knew you couldn't get rid of me that easily.

Flights of Fantasy

I am one of the very lucky thirty people who was able to score a mentorship with a real live author through the Romance Divas. It's one of the coolest things they offer through their forum and I am super-duper-excited!! My Diva Mentor is none other than fantasy/paranormal author Debbie Mumford (she also writes YA under the name Deb Logan).

Debbie works by day as a technical writer and has published 2 novels, an anthology and a novella with Freya's Bower, with another two novels on contract. Her dragon series, Sorcha's Heart, Sorcha's Children: Dragon's Choice have received several honors and rave reviews. Debbie has also published several short stories. I'm currently reading her paranormal romance novel, Second Sight, available from Freya's Bower - and I'm thoroughly enjoying it. I'll post a review when I'm finished.

In the meantime, I decided to interview my new mentor, and here's what she had to say.

Interview with Debbie Mumford

How long have you been writing, and what is the one thing that keeps you coming back to it?

I started writing with the intention of being published in late-June, 2003. I had no clue what I was doing, but I had an idea and spent the next seven months writing a 100,000 word contemporary fantasy novel. When I start something, I finish it. *lol*

What keeps me coming back? New ideas. New characters with stories to tell, and the knowledge that if I don’t tell them, no one will,
because I’m the only one who knows these particular stories.

What are three books you could read over and over, and what is it about them?

I listen to books on tape as I drive to and from the office. I add to my collection when I can, but I have a few that I listen to over and over again. I have the entire Harry Potter series and I’ve listened to it, from beginning to end, quite a few times. I love it for the story, for the world Jo created, but I also enjoy listening to it as a writer. I know the story intimately now, so I’m able to hear things that she’s doing in the plotting and pacing of the book. I remember the “ah-ha” moment when I realized that the whole reason an intricately woven scene had been included in the book was to deliver a single sentence; a single piece of necessary knowledge. Wow! It’s
almost like having Jo mentor me *lol*

Plotter, pantster, or in between?

In between, but leaning heavily toward the pantster. I have a rough idea of where my story is going before I start, but discovering the details is a major part of the fun for me! I typically write my first draft very quickly, not allowing myself to go back and fix errors or pick the perfect word. Once the story is out of my head, I turn my editor loose and rearrange scenes, make decisions about plotting and pacing and generally polish the manuscript on a macro level. I avoid getting caught up in line edits until I’m sure the plot flows the was I want it to…no sense wasting time perfecting a
scene I’m going to cut!

In your eyes, what's your biggest strength in your writing? Your biggest weakness?

I’m good with characters and emotions, but I have a hard time remembering to place them in a physical surrounding. Setting is NOT my strength. I have to remember to go back through and describe where they are so
that my readers can properly experience the scenes.

What's your weirdest writing habit?

Hmmm…I have so many weirdnesses…Probably my most unusual
writing habit is my lack of a desk. I have a laptop and a lapboard and that’s my desk. I sit in my recliner, with my feet up and type away. Which is very transportable. When we’re away from home, I can recreate my space very easily.

Drink of choice?

Green tea or chai.

When did you decide that you wanted to make writing a career?

When I wrote that first novel. I sent that puppy out to countless agents and publishers and received an equal number of form-letter rejections. Now I know why, but at the time, I was clueless.

Now, for many people, such universal rejection would’ve buried their desire to write. Not me. I’m a bulldog personality. Tell me I can’t do something and my automatic reaction is, “Watch me!” Does the word “defiant”
ring any bells? *snort*

Any choice tidbits of advice to share with people just starting the journey?

Learn to celebrate rejection. You’re going to get a lot of it and if you don’t make your peace with it, it’ll eat you alive. I don’t like being rejected any better than anyone else does, but I accept it as part of the business. They are not rejecting *me*, they are rejecting a specific example of my writing. That’s all.

As to the celebration part…well, rejections are proof positive that you’re doing your part in this business. You can’t garner rejections on a story you haven’t written (unless you’re trying to sell on proposal and that’s another matter); you can’t be rejected if you never submit. If you’re writing and submitting, you’re doing the work of a professional
writer. Celebrate your commitment!

Are there any other genres/sub-genres out there you hope to explore, or any boundaries you plan to push?

Science fiction. I’m working my way from fantasy and speculative fiction to science fiction.

If you had to choose only one word to describe your writing, what would it be?

Wonder. Yes. That works on several levels, but you’ll have to discover them for yourself!

Thank you Debbie, for answering my questions, and for volunteering your time and wealth of knowledge to helping me navigate this new world. I'm really looking forward to working with you!


Friday, March 21, 2008

Spring FFC Entry

For the Flash Fiction Carnival this round, I decided to go with something a little different. This is a vignette of a supporting character in one of my novels. It was written specifically for this assignment, but I'm not sure how it will hold up as a stand-alone piece. I'm okay with that, because I'm glad I wrote it, and if it hadn't have been for this prompt, I probably wouldn't have.

So, here is a short piece with Astrid from Witch Hunt: Inner Eye, for the Spring Equinox.

Ostara, by LustAndDevotion


Astrid wasn’t an Oracle. She’d only studied the basics of divination. And even that was sketchy. Still, she thought, zigzagging her way down the jagged hillside to the beach, it was Ostara – the Spring Equinox. For the briefest of moments, her little part of the earth would be cast in equal parts light and shadow. For the briefest of moments, the energies of the conduit around her would be in perfect balance. If she was lucky, and prepared, she could get a tiny glimpse of the future.

She had the perfect question to ask the universe. She was certain in that fact as she unpacked her bag on the fine gravel. The waves crashed against the sides of the rock cove around her, enclosing her in a bubble of gurgles and whispers. Astrid lit the five candles encircling her and dropped to her knees, folding her robe underneath.

The question was selfless. It wasn’t for her. That’s why she knew she would see the answer. She wanted to know so she could do what was right for Kean. She loved him, and she didn’t want to see him suffer anymore.

Closing her eyes, Astrid invoked her personal circle, and the crashing of the waves beside her seemed more distant. The sky overhead was darkening, still a pinkish hue in the distance, but violet at the edges. She tapped into the conduit and could feel the shifting of the energies around her – each atom re-aligning, as all things do in the cycle of life – coming back to center.

If Briana were ever going to come back to her center, to her home, Astrid needed to know. If there was hope for her two best friends to find love and happiness together, she would do everything in her power to see it happen. She loved Kean. She loved Briana. They loved each other. It was the perfect question – innocent, important, definite. One always had to be careful of the questions they asked. Astrid knew that all too well.

She lowered her head to her chest, focusing on her breathing, on the grounding force of the shore beneath her, and the airy lightness up above. The light, the dark. Balance. She felt the exact instant it happened, as if time stopped. There was no heartbeat, no breath, and no body for a silken moment. She was suspended in between worlds – the now and the never, the substantial and the infinite.

All she needed was the question, but in the place where only spirits dwell, there are no words. Still, Briana was more than a word to her, and so was Kean. They were feelings, and memories. They were hopes, and dreams, parts of her soul. Parts of her soul that had been ripped apart, she realized, when Briana left them. Them.

Briana hadn’t just left Kean. She’d abandoned them both, and left Astrid to nurse Kean’s wounded heart through the aftermath. She was still caring for him, and Briana was off touring the world. Astrid’s question wasn’t selfless at all. She wanted Bri back. She wanted Kean happy. She wanted the three of them together again. She wanted . . . things to be like they were before. She exhaled at last, feeling like she fell back into her own body from miles above the ground. Her shot at a moment of enlightenment had passed. A light spattering of rain peppered Astrid’s upturned face and she blinked her eyes open.

“What? No lightning? No roaring wind?” she asked the sky. One of her candles blew out and Astrid sighed. “Serves me right,” she said under breath as she got up and shuffled about, re-packing her bag. She should have known that she wouldn’t be able to get a clear answer. She wasn’t an Oracle. She’d thought her question was good enough – but now, after the fact, it was silly. It was too close to her heart. She should have just asked Ce-ce to deign it for her.

It started to rain in earnest as she ascended the last curve of the path up the hillside. The froth below her was churning louder with each gust that whistled over the rocks. Astrid gripped her hood over her as she went up the train trestle stairs into the yard. “Screw this,” she muttered as she paused in the back doorway to her house. She looked over her shoulder at the brewing storm, the whitecaps in the straight barely visible past the dusky haze. She shook her head and walked through the door.

If she had learned anything from this experience, it was that she was ready for something to change. As she took off her soaking robe and knelt to build a fire in the woodstove, she reflected that her question was so obviously selfish. She wanted to see Kean whole and happy. She missed Briana. She wanted to be free to find her own happiness, without guilt. She couldn’t be Kean’s security blanket any more. She wanted a life too, free from the saga of Kean’s long lost love. She wanted a love of her own. Yep – selfish, selfish, selfish. She chafed her bare arms, then wrapped herself in the closest blanket and nestled into the sofa. In two blinks of an eye, a little ball of orange fluff and claws found its way into her lap.

Astrid gazed into the crackling flames of her hearth, and stroked her ginger cat’s luxurious fur, wondering, musing, remembering. She laughed to herself when it struck her that she had a lot more than one question when it came to Bri. It had been long enough, hadn’t it? She was coming back? What was she really hiding from?

“Well, hell!” Astrid huffed, and the kitten flounced out of her lap. She would just have to find out the old fashioned way, she decided, reaching for the phone.

Maybe it had been an enlightening evening, after all.

---996 words

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Dude . . .

Kaige from Impulsive Hearts honored me with an Excellent Blog Award today. I really appreciate the shout out, Kaige! *hugs* And I enjoy hers a lot as well, so check it out.

Excellent Blog Award

The Rules: By accepting this Excellent Blog Award, you agree to award it to 10 more people whose blogs you find Excellent Award worthy. You can give it to as many people as you want but please award at least 10. You deserve this! Feel free to recognize blogs that have already received this award.

I visit the following blogs at least once a week and some of them even more frequently. They are all writing related and all manage to have unique perspectives on the process. Some are just getting started and some have been at it a while. Some are working alone and others pool their experiences.

They’re all Excellent Reads. I would like to pass this wonderful award to the following 10 blogs (in no particular order):

West of Mars
Debbie Mumford
Shelley Munro Word Trix
Unhinged Eden's Eternal
Flogging the Quill A. Catherine Noon
The Redneck Romance Writer Paperback Writer

Give them all a peek! You won’t regret it.

All About Me-me

This week's TT is part of a 2 part Meme series that takes one of the questionairs and has you give up lots of info about yourself.

While I really do want everyone in the whole wide world to know what I am wearing right now (no really, I do.), I usually don't like these. However, as revealed previously, when it comes to my friends, I'm a bit of a push-over. So for the next two weeks I will tell you more than you could possibly want to know about my favorite subject: me. *snark*

Other people who are doing/have done this: Liz, Catherine, Morgan le Fey, Eden, Kat

1) Three screen names that you’ve had:
I refuse to answer this question on the grounds that I would be exposing my other, less appropriate internet personalities to public scrutiny.

2) Three things you like about yourself:
Golly. Three? I have to stop at three? Sheesh. *scratches head*
Okay, I got one . . . er . . . three: I laugh easy, loud and often.

3) Three things you don’t like about yourself:
Being perfect is annoying sometimes. *shrugs* What?

4) Three parts of your heritage:
100% Smartass. Really, it's hereditary - I swear!

5) Three things that scare you:
Women who let their children run through the Starbucks parking lot without holding their hand. I almost saw an adorable four-year old get flattened by an Audi this morning. I wanted to get out of my car and smack that woman - not the one driving the Audi - the mother. Srsly.

Oh, and books with flimsy plots. They really do scare me. I cringe, just waiting for them crumble to ash in my hands - which they should. And umm . . . failure. I'm petrified by failure. *shudders*

6) Three of your everyday essentials:
Starbucks + iPod + Laptop = Heaven

7) Three things you are wearing right now:
Two shoes and one sock. Am I wearing another sock, or did I just answer the question verbatim?
The world will never know . . .

8) Three of your favorite songs:
My tastes are too varied to pick a favorite. I'm not being difficult - it's the truth. *sigh* Alright, I might as well reveal *something* . . . 'The Bare Necessities' from The Jungle Book basically plays on a loop in the back of my head. I'm convinced all the answers to life are hidden in that song.

9) Three things you want in a relationship:
Me, another person, and a bottle of wine. What else do you need? *grin*

10) Two truths and a lie:
I never lie.
I eat whole lemons - straight up, no chaser.
I can talk to my cats.

11) Three things you can’t live without:
The usual . . . oxygen, water, internet.

12) Three places you want to go on vacation:
Iceland, Australia, UK. I have badgered friends on two continents into putting me up already. Any takers in Iceland? Anyone? I don't eat much . . .

13) Three things you just can’t do:
I can't believe I just made you read all of that.
I can't believe I'm going to make you suffer through it again next week.
And I can't believe you're STILL reading. Srsly. Don't you have anything better to do?

Tune in next week for more horrendously interesting facts about *me*, which I will attempt to answer only with links and pictures (just because) . . . or face the wrath of the Meme Gods! Muhahahah!

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Leave a comment, and I'll link back to you here:
Kathleen Oxley
Dana Belfry
Kaige (Impulsive Hearts)
Shelley Munro
Gina Ardito
Adelle Lauden
Ms. Menozzi
Brenda ND
Susan Helene Gottfried
Jennifer Leeland
Alice Audrey
A. Catherine Noon
Tempest Knight at Midnight Moon Cafe
Paige Tyler
Chloe Devlin
Morgan Le Fey
Debbie Mumford

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Shout Out to Liz!

I wanted to take a brief moment to formally welcome Liz to the Writer's Retreat group. It's been a pleasure getting to know her better the past few weeks and I'm excited to have her as an addition. I'm sure her contributions will be great - and her word craft and the depth of emotions behind it always thrills me.

Welcome Liz!

Check out The Elizabethan Collar ~ Liz's new blog.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Home State Lovin'

I've seen these memes that talk about a place someone has visited, or where they live, and was inspired to pay the Evergreen State and the Emerald city homage. Here are thirteen things you might not know about Seattle and Washington State.

1. It's green. Over half of Washington state is covered with forests. Our forests range from old growth pine, to temperate rain forests, to a mixture of valley deciduous growth. Throughout most of the state, it's green all year, punctuated by pastels in the spring, and golds and auburns in the fall.

2. It's clean. In 2007, 362/365 days in King County (Seattle) had an air quality index of Moderate-Good (298 Good/ 64 Moderate)*. * It's also a spearhead state on Clean Water, environmental and endangered species protection, and energy conservation. In a 2007 report by Forbes magazine, Washington ranked third in a list of America's 'Greenest' states - behind Vermont and Oregon.

3. It's natural. Our forests and coast provide the perfect habitat for some of the most majestic species to grace this continent.

4. It's smart. In the 2000 Educational Assesment by the US Census Bureau, 62% of people over 25 in Washington had at least some college. And in a report done by in 2006, Seattle was ranked the 'Smartest' city in the nation - with 47% of it's inhabitants holding at least a Bachelor's degree. (The national average was 24.4%).

5. *Gwen shamelessly plugs* . . . School Spirit. I has it. The University of Washington, Seattle (my alma mater) has more than ten top-ranking programs, including the #1 rated primary care medical school in the country for thirteen years running*. UW has received more research funding than any other public university every years since 1974 (more than $1 Billion in 2007). Six faculty members have won Nobel prizes since 1989 (5 in Physiology/Medicine).
*ranked by U.S. News & World Report (

The Huskies womens volleyball (my FAVORITE) team finally won their first NCAA championship after an undefeated season in 2005. They were the second team to ever sweep the tournament. It was an awesome season, and a documentary about it went on to final in the Billie Awards. Go Dawgs!!

6. It rocks. Seattle has been the birthplace of several popular rock bands, including Dave Matthews Band, Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Heart, Soundgarden, Queensryche, Foo Fighters, Alice in Chains, and let's not forget Mr. Hendrix. (Oh, and Kenny Loggins, and Kenny G - though they're not quite 'rock'.)

7. It writes. Seattle is the home of several well-known published authors, including Jayne Ann Krentz, Terry Brooks, and Tom Robbins.

8. It's cutting edge. Seattle has been the birthplace and hub of several of the nation's leading businesses, including Boeing, Microsoft,, Nintendo, Costco, REI, ATT&T Wireless,, Nordstrom and Starbucks.

9. It's got surf. Seattle is sandwiched between Lake Washington on one side, and the Puget Sound on the other. The San Juan Islands lay just off the Northern tip of the peninsula, and the Pacific Ocean laps against the other side. There are plenty of rivers that weave through the mountains, and many lakes, including glacier-fed Lake Chelan, 3 hours East of Seattle - the third deepest Lake in the US, and 55 miles long.

10. And turf. Living on the Western side of Washington, you find the Cascade Mountains to the East and the Olympics to the West, not to mention the active volcano, Mt. Rainier to the South. Hiking, biking, four-bying, horseback riding, camping and skiing are all within an hour's reach of Seattle.

11. It produces. Washington has a perfect farming environment, whether it's the apples and other fruits that put Washington on the map, our up and coming Columbia Valley wines, or our lavender farms on the penninsula. In the summer, I can buy all local, organic produce from streetside Farmer's Market. We also produce our own chicken, beef and dairy. And we're just a stone's throw away from those Idaho potatoes, and Oregon strawberries. Fresh fish also abounds - from salmon, to crab, to oysters - seafood is a Seattle staple. (Along with coffee, of course - though we don't grow that here. . . I don't think.)

12. Seattle Rain Festival: myth. In a recent ranking of US cities based on annual rainfall, Seattle didn't even make the top ten. Still, our coastal temperate climate does make for a heavy rainy season, and lots of overcast weather. However, for every two days like this . . .

We get one like this . . .

To me, it's worth it. *g*

13. The biggest downside of Seattle, WA? Too many people are discovering the things our state/city has to offer. Crowding and traffic worsen each year, and the cost of living is pretty steep.

So, you will now forget everything I just told you.

As far as you're concerned, Seattle = and a cute movie with Meg Ryan in it.

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Leave a comment, and I'll link back to you here:
Kaige (Impulsive Hearts)
Chloe Devlin
Jennifer Leeland
A. Catherine Noon
Debbie Mumford
Eaton Bennett
Morgan le Fey
Word Trix
Tawny Taylor
Shelley Munro
Alice Audrey

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Keeping Score

This is my contribution to the standard March Flash Fiction Carnival. The prompt was LETTERS/NUMBERS. And as broad as it is, I found it a tough one. So I decided to play around with a character voice in my head, who stems from my free ebook, Once Bitten, Twice Charmed.


My job is all about numbers. Sure, you occasionally get to shoot someone, or ride them to the ground, or chase them down the highway. But mostly, it comes down to numbers. It’s funny, because I was never good at math, but here I am. I’m not a physicist, or a Wall Street analyst, or a salesman. I’m a detective. Lieutenant Aidan Peter Sloane, Boston PD, Shield 7956.


I never thought much about them before I worked the beat. Except maybe my bank account. My phone messages. Now numbers keep me up at night, tossing and turning and throwing them around in my head. Until I can’t take it anymore, and I just go back to work, back to the number game.

Take this poor bastard, for example. The number of bullet holes in his chest? Four. The number of drinks he consumed at the bar last night? Ten. The number of people who saw him leave with a petite blonde, most likely a working girl? Three. The number of possible suspects? Two. The blonde, and her boyfriend. And then it goes on. What was the time of death? Approximately 00:06 hours this morning. What was the last call he made? Received? Two missed calls at 23:23, and 23:24 from 564-2389.

The number of days before I solve this case? Two, if I can catch some shut-eye. They were sloppy, rushed, unprepared. A crime of passion. The easiest, and the hardest kind. The number of hours I’ll sleep this week? Maybe nine, if I’m lucky.

So, why would I do it, you wonder? My paycheck ain’t much. $1236.92 every other week. Eighteen more years, and I can retire. That’s 4,500 more days on the job. But the truth is, it’s the only thing I’ve ever been good at, so why give it up? I failed math, but the numbers and I get along just fine.

Except for once. There’s one number I’d like to change if I could. Five days ago, on my seventh anniversary on the force, a girl was murdered. She was my eighth case that week. I gave myself six days to find her murderer. He was smart, and knew what he was doing. But now that’s tomorrow, and I have no investigation. Because the day she died, Monique Sylvan’s body disappeared from the city morgue.

She’s dead. Or, she was dead. I know it. I saw her. I felt her body, cold, and still, and lifeless. I closed her goddamn eyes for her. Someone killed her. I know that too, in my gut. And I’m gonna find the bastard. But it’s going to take more than six days. I don’t care if it takes me another 4,500 days – I’ll keep looking. Because he’s out there somewhere. A murderer, who thinks he’s gotten away with it. And if there’s anything I hate more than this cheap-ass watered-down mud they call coffee, it’s being duped.

The number of cases I've left unsolved? One, for now.


---500 Words

Sunday, March 9, 2008


So, it's been a week since I started the 70 Days of Sweat challenge. So far, so good. I'm a little over 50K words on my WIP (started at 30K) as of this morning, and hoping to knock out a few more today. And I'm finally ON SCHEDULE. My goal is to have a drafted 80-90K words to query by the end of March, and I think I might actually manage this. I wanted to get more side-projects rolling along the way, and they have fallen by the wayside.

But I'm okay with that. Cloak is my number one focus, and I'm just so happy that it's going smoothly - I can't complain. If I can get it done ahead of schedule, I can make up the time on the others.

I don't know if it's just the sweat challenge, but I do think it helped to get my butt in gear. I was dragging my feet on this, and I would have been trying to pull it together at the last minute.

I technically only need the first three chapters by the end of this month, but I wanted to have the whole thing drafted so I could write a true-to-form synopsis and make sure I hit all the right buttons in those first three chapters. Sven has helped me so far.

Keep it up sweaters!! 68(7?) days to go!!

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Telephone Tag

Kathleen Oxley tagged me for this new meme! *hugs*

Did you ever play the game Telephone when you were a kid? It’s sometimes called Rumor or Gossip. You sit in a circle, the bigger the better.

The ring leader will tell a “secret” to one person. That person turns to the person on their left and whispers it. Each person hears the “secret” on one side and tells it on the other until it goes all the way around the circle. The last person says out loud what they were told, then the ring leader says what everyone started with. Most of the time it isn’t the same thing, and can be quite funny.

Using the power of the Internet, let’s give it a try.

I’m going to write a paragraph. Your job is to make a change. It can be as little as one word or as big as twenty words. You can change names, plot and setting, but don’t change it so much that we can’t tell how it relates to what (Alice) started with. Post your paragraph on your blog with a link to Alice’s post. She will link back to you. Then, pick three people to whom you will “whisper” your modified version. Let them know they are up next. Link to them and to the person who passed it to you (me).

Here is my paragraph for the three people I’m going to tag:

“Jocelyn and Will went up Knob Street to find some privacy in a dark alley. Jocelyn fell down and knocked her crown and asked Will to kiss the pain away. Will was happy to oblige Jocelyn’s innocent desire without further bruising, but his kisses weren’t enough. If he hadn’t already lost his heart to Jocelyn, he would have that night.”

I’m whispering to Rhonda Stapleton, Scarlett Sanderson and Word Trix. You can still play this game even if I didn’t tag you. Anyone can play if you follow the rules. Come back in a month and see what happened to our little rumor.


The rules for this meme:
1. Change something in the paragraph you received; a minimum of 1 word, a maximum of 20 words.

2. Link to the post at and leave a comment so we can keep track of what happens to the paragraph. Alice will link back to you.

3. Link to the person who tagged you, preferably to where ever they posted their version of the paragraph.

4. Tag three people you think might enjoy this game. Let them know they’ve been tagged. Link to them.

5. Include these rules in your post.

View Other Participants Here

Have fun!!


Double Take

Here's a quick blurb on a fellow Diva's new release. It sounds très steamy. Congrats Tawny!

Double Take
Tawny Taylor
(BDSM/Menage a trois/Gay)

Fallon dreamed of a dominant lover for years. Giving it all to a man who can master her sexually. What she never imagined was not one, but two dominant lovers, determined to make her wildest sexual dreams a reality. But perfect lips and to-die-for bodies aside, the identities behind her new Masters’ masks aren’t the only secret they’re keeping.

As Fallon is pulled further into the erotic web they weave, she realizes that being submissive to two dominant men isn’t just about the sensations they can rouse in her, but the emotions they unleash.

The biggest surprise is yet to come, the one that can either set her free to share a love and a life she never dreamed possible, or break her heart forever.

Read an excerpt/Buy

Wicked-Hot Erotic Fiction

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Soundtrack of My Life (Shamelessly Stolen from Gina)

I've got a lot on my plate at the moment, so I decided to steal a quick idea from Gina and put the TT I had planned on the agenda for next week. Happy Thursday!

If your life were a movie, what would the soundtrack be?

Open your music library (iTunes, winamp, media player, iPod). Put it on shuffle. Press play. For every section, type the song that's playing. Next section : press the next button. Don't lie and try to pretend you're cool. Play it as it comes up.

Gwen's Life

1. Opening Credits: Watermark by Enya (I love this song. It is what I strive for in my life - peaceful, balanced, heartfelt. Cool.)

2. Waking Up: Sonata No. 9 in D Major by Mozart (If I was a morning person - I could see this happening, but it's more like Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata in reality. I sorta slither out of bed.)

3. Falling in Love: One More Night by Phil Collins (Ah! It's so angsty and eighties and sweet! That's totally me in love. I love Phil.)

4. Breaking Up: The Logical Song by Supertramp (Okay - this is getting creepy now.)

5. Life's Okay: What's Going to Happen Tomorrow by Duran Duran ("You've got to believe, it will be alright in the end." Did I mention this is creepy?)

6. Mental Breakdown: Here Comes the Sun by The Beatles (Okay, this is one of my all time favorite songs. The only way I can associate it with a mental breakdown is if it were drug-induced, or this is AFTER the breakdown, or if when I finally lost it, it was in a very happy, free-spirited way. *g*)

7. Flashback: Talkin' Bout a Revolution by Tracy Chapman (It could work. It's a sad song, but it could be a flashback for the more down and out times of my life, I suppose.)

8. Getting Back Together: Don't Let the Sun Go Down On Me by Sir Elton John (This totally works! Creepy again.)

9. Wedding: All I Need by Mat Kearney (It's not your typical wedding song, but I like it. It could work. Still romantic, in a way.)

10. Birth of Child: These Dreams by Heart (Can you say 'Epidural'?)

11. Final Battle: Breakfast In Bed by Nicole Kea (Fifty First Dates Soundtrack) (Apparently, my final battle will be pretty easy going - set to steel drum music. =P)

12. Death Scene: Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman by Bryan Adams (Aww... *sniffle*)

13. Ending Credits: Hello, Goodbye by The Beatles (Haha! I love it. It's perfect. There was bound to be two Beatles songs - I have so much of it. But this is the perfect non-sensical go against the grain song to define me.)

Okay, that really was fun, actually. Thanks Gina!

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Leave a comment, and I'll link back to you here:

Rhonda Stapleton
A. Catherine Noon
Shelley Munro
Tempest Knight at the MMC
Susan Helene Gottfried
Brenda ND
Gina Ardito
Tara S. Nichols
Debbie Mumford
Kathleen Oxley