Monday, January 31, 2011

Name the Cute Guy Contest--and more!

My new website at: is up and running! To celebrate, I'm having a contest. Two, actually.

Contest One: (Especially for writers.)

Name the cute guy on my website and I'll feature you in an interview on March 1st and display your books in my sidebar for the month of March.

C'mon romance writers--send me your names!

Contest Two: (Especially for readers.)

If you can answer the following questions, I'll send you an e-copy of my book, Kissing Trick and I copy of my e-novella, (an erotica) Naughty Can Be Nice.

1) What are the titles of my other books to be released by Breathless Press?

2) What is the name of my critique group? (hint: it's an icon)

3) What did I compare my home state to?

4) What are the names of the characters in the book I'm working on that's a follow-up to Kissing Trick?

Please send your responses to me at

Contest ends on Monday, February 7th. :) Good luck!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Am I am what I'm spammed?

I have a lot of email accounts. It's hard to be a writer under two names and an editor under two others, plus myself. (My real self, the self I'm being when I'm not one of those other people.) Sadly, my real name email box has become my catchall addy. So when they ask my email address at the store so they "can send you coupons!" (or crap) or I'm at a site and they ask for your my address (that they won't sell because they "value your privacy"), I give them that one.

So I look at my "real name" account this morning and I realized my spam has assigned me some characteristics. Whether or not they're true...well....

First: I'm a happy retiree! I've got an invitation to join AARP. At 45...should I?

If I'm a trapped-at-home-mom and I retire, does that mean I don't have to do laundry anymore? Then SIGN ME UP!

Second: Apparently, I've had hip replacement surgery and missed it. Which is too bad, because I relish any opportunity to lie around, watch television, have my meals served to me (even if it's usually broth and jello--mm-m good!) and take painkillers. You know, we trapped-at-home moms don't usually get the chance to do any of these things (especially the painkiller part). But I DO know a certain segment of the population who does (if beer could be substituted for the drugs). Cough. You know who you are...

Third: I'm a cougar and I'm on the prowl! It's true that my husband is younger than I am. So...maybe I am a cougar, but...I've already got kids, thanks. I don't need anyone else's. I don't care if he's hot, sexy, interested AND legal. The only thing I'd use him for is to take out the trash.

Fourth: I'm about to die. Probably from all the drugs and cougar sex. Because if I act now (as opposed to later, when I'm dead) I can get life insurance. Hey, the only extra life insurance I need right now is the kind that tells me I'm going to live. Oh, wait...that's assurance.

Whatever. I just hope I'm not what my spam thinks I am.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

What color is YOUR bathroom?

As you know (or should), I spend most of my time in the company of my four-year-old son, who is obsessed with Batman. So a lot of our conversations revolved around the Caped Crusader and all the "billians" he fights. Although, in Brady's world, they don't fight so much as they have adventures and "do missi'ns".

So on Monday morning, before we left for my doctor's appointment, all the Imaginext Batmans and Billians went into a backpack to come with us. As we drove, "the guys" sitting on Brady's lap, we discussed what each guy's bathroom was like.


So, for example, Penguin's bathroom had lots of--go figure--penguins. Penguin shower curtain, penguin toothbrush holder, penguin wallpaper...

Joker's bathroom had violent green bathmat and toilet cover; the walls were painted magenta and the shower curtain was green and purple...

Riddler's bathroom had a stack of puzzle books and a few pencils with the erasers worn down, in a basket next to the toilet...

Two-Face had two bathrooms: one's very nice, the other--not so nice...

Clayface's bathroom has mud all over it. On the floor, red mud footprints, in the tub, red muddy puddles...

As we discussed each villain's bathroom decor, I realized--what an interesting way to figure out your characters. What are their bathrooms like?

Are there magazines in there? Are there towels--and are they rolled and placed in a basket or folded and put in the closet? What kind of knobs are there on the sink? What sort of shower curtain do they have? What kind of soap do they like--bar or bodywash? What scents do they prefer? How about shampoo? Premium stuff or the cheap stuff? Do they throw away their bottles or do they keep the empties lined up on the edges of the tub? Do they prefer baths or showers? And--do they clean their own toilet, or do they have hired help?

We decided that Batman has a normal bathroom with a rocket toilet. Alfred keeps it clean and there's a rubber duck in the tub for Robin. Go figure. So I leave you with something different to think about, just another--different--angle of characterization: What color is your characters bathroom?

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Breathless Press wants you!

Well, actually, they want your submissions.

First of all, they're looking for stories for Halloween; specifically stories about  shapeshifters.

And, just as an FYI, Breathless is also looking for submissions for their new lines: Cyber: (Satisfying all your future desires) and Mocha, which will be start up in June and features (as you can tell, I'm sure) interracial stories.

Another FYI--Breathless has raised their royalty rates to forty percent (40%). Not a bad rate, IMHO.

Breathless has recently been experiencing record breaking sales. In fact, one of BP's titles hit Amazon's Bestseller list (#1 in 2 categories) with Her Five Favorite Words. December provided a record quarter for sales.

It's a growing company with a great staff of editors and cover artists. Really, there's no reason not to give them what they want: YOU.  For more information, please go to: Breathless Submissions

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Computer woes.

My netbook is dead. I'm hoping to resuscitate it, however, by buying a new power cord.

If that doesn't work, not only is my netbook's life over, mine is too.

Funny how we start relying on these technical things. My husband and I bought our first computer in 1996. Before that...we didn't even know how to use them. Now, we have two desktops, a (broken) laptop and my little netbook. The laptop's LCD was broken when (I think) the dog jumped down from the bed onto it. (My son had it in a laptop bag on the floor.) And netbook is konked out.

What am I going to do? How will I escape to write or edit? My netbook is like another appendage; it goes everywhere with me. Even (cough) into the bathroom (the only room with a door that locks). If I can't get it fixed...what will I do? I'll have to use one of the desktops! I'll be stuck in the same place! I won't be able to escape!

Hard to believe that only fifteen years ago, we were completely satisfied and comfortable with only one computer...

How many computers do you have? Which one can't you live without?

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Reading the fine print...

I wish I could read the fine print. But I can't.

This is a wholly new and annoying phenomenon in my life. All of a sudden, I'm squinting at things, and--gasp!--moving into a lighted area to figure out what the heck that teeny, tiny print on the bottom of a toy/back of a gift card is trying to tell me.

It's telling me--I think I need glasses.

This getting old thing is getting old.

Speaking of's something new. Illinois Woman Gives Birth to One Twin in 2010, One in 2011

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

My Whimsy is Weird.

Blogging every day isn't easy. How do people do it?

My friend and fellow author, Jennifer Shirk, does it. But she's got an interesting life and a wonderful sense of humor.

She begins each blog with a fun little newsy tidbit. I'd love to copy her idea, except...well...that would be copying. And besides, she gravitates toward the whimsical; I find myself looking for the odd and the just plain macabre, like the story of Jean Stevens, the Pennsylvania woman who kept her husband and twin sister's embalmed corpses in her home until the state took them away.

That's not whimsical, that's just weird.

What's weirder is that the state is going to return the bodies so that Stevens can place them in a specially constructed crypt in her yard. She's got room for eight in the mausoleum and has plans to dig up her parents and place them in the vault, too. That way she can visit with and talk to all of them, everyday.

She's also making plans for her own remains to spend eternity in the garage-sized crypt.

How do you think the deceased feel about these plans? Do they roll their eyes and say, "Here she comes, again?" and "Oh geez. She just talks and talks and...what the hell do I have to do to get any peace?" And, with all the paranormal groups out there, you'd think that at least one of them would want to do some EVP's around her home. If anyone is going to have ghostly activity, you'd think it would be Mrs. Stevens.

You can see that I've got ideas rolling around in my head and my Muse is taking notes...perhaps Jennifer's got the right idea. I just don't know if anyone has the stomach for mine.

Monday, January 3, 2011

I am not a-writing here, anymore!

If you'd like to see what I'm up to, please come visit me at my new home: Positively Cyn-full.

Thank you and HAPPY NEW YEAR!

I don't wanna be Joker!

Like most boys his age, my four-year-old is obsessed with Batman. Of course, this is my fault, because I introduced him to the super-hero to begin with. True, the Imaginext Batman guys are cool, but it doesn't mean I want to play with them.

Damn you, Santa, for bringing the Batcave and every villain you could find into our home.

I spend my days trying to write, trying to edit...and trying to muster enthusiasm for yet another Bat fact, as I write, Batman is trying to rescue Robin, who is trapped in the cardboard tube of a roll of toilet paper. (And there are long pieces of tissue strewn all over the living room...) Is it any wonder I don't get anything accomplished?

Even more frustrating than watching my days disappear in a haze of chatter and crime fighting is knowing how brief this time will be; it seems interminable, but really lasts only a moment in my little guy's life. Focus, Mommy. As much as I don't feel like being Joker (or Penguin or Two-Face or Riddler or...) there's no one else I should rather be.

Holy Blink of an Eye, Batman!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

His eyes did what?

Dear Writer:

I'm pleading with you. You've got to stop allowing your character's eyes to do their own thing. It was amusing at first, but now it's practically an ocular revolution. Please, make it stop!

Eyes should not do the following: sweep, meet, fall, touch (other eyes or anything else), cut, drop or especially--land. Once you've said, "Her eyes landed on the pasta," you've literally launched her orbs from their sockets and plopped them, quivering and staring, onto the table. Bon appetit!


Or--His eyes followed her from the room. Think about this for a moment. Can you see them? puppies? Barking and scrambling for her attention, his eyes rolled around her feet...

Instead, I'd like to suggest you allow your characters to perform the actions and use variations of the following verbs: look, gaze, glance (at), stare, observe, consider, identify, study, watch, glance, glimpse, peer (at), note, notice, observe, scan, scrutinize, survey...the list goes on. Get a thesaurus and use it.

If I have to read one more sentence like this: His eyes lifted to her face and hers dropped to his lips, I'm warning you, dear author. My eyes are going to roll and sail directly to your face; they'll land on you with a persistent stare and they will follow you where-ever you go. Like...Rottweilers.

Thank you. Have a nice day.

Your Editor

Saturday, January 1, 2011


The usual topic of blogs today must be goals for the upcoming year. I'm not going to be any different. Ready? Here are my goals:

1) Blog, everyday.

2) Pay off my debts.

That's it. Should be do-able. I hope.

What are your goals? Anything outrageous or unusual?

And now...I'm off to make some buttermilk biscuits. Did you know that buttermilk is butter-free? It's just soured milk, and you can make it with vinegar!

Bon appetit. ;)