Wednesday, December 28, 2011


I'm going to mention this, because it doesn't happen to me very often.

Two fairly new, very articulate, and genuinely personable reviewers put a couple of my pieces on their Favorite Books of 2011 lists. I can't tell you how surprised and thrilled I was (as I said, I'm not often mentioned in this context, and I'm truly honored to be so). Heaping thanks to the genuinely sweet Tom Webb of "A Bear on Books," who cited Visible Friend. Tom posted his "Best" list at It's Raining Men. And more thanks to J. at "Joyfully Jay" for mentioning The Zero Knot. Then there's talented Tam Ames over at "Tam's Reads." She didn't exactly do a Favorites list, but she averaged out her book ratings (of which there must be hundreds, considering how much that woman reads). I made it into third place -- another lovely surprise.

I myself have an appallingly short Favorites list. So here it is, for what it's worth:

  • Best Book I Read in 2011 --  The Brothers Bishop by Bart Yates (hands down)
  • Favorite M/M Couple of 2011 (and possibly forever) -- Rickey and G-man, created by Poppy Z. Brite (I'm in the process of gobbling up every novel and story in which they're featured.)
  • Favorite Character I Made Up in 2011 ('cause I can't possible pick a favorite book) -- Jared "Red" Bonner in The Zero Knot.
  • Dumb-assedest Review I Read in 2011 -- Can't remember. It seems every time I troll for books at Amazon or Goodreads, I invariably come across a reader review that makes me think, That's gotta be the most dumb-assed review I've ever read.
  • Best Blog I Discovered in 2011: a toss-up between "Thorny, Not Prickly" and 2 Boys in Love (because I'm getting sentimental in my dotage)
  • Books I'm Most Looking Forward to Reading -- anything with the couple mentioned above; anything by Frank Tuttle that I haven't yet read (God, I am such a fangirl); Downtime by Tamara Allen (which I was super-duper lucky enough to have grabbed at Wave's big holiday giveaway); Willy and Martyrs and Monsters by Robert Dunbar; some stories by Lucius Parhelion. (Crap, now a slew of other books are coming to mind, but I can't possibly list them all!) 

Keep your eyes peeled for Jessewave's announcement of her on-site New Year's bash. I'll be contributing a little something. And speaking of Wave, I'm also grateful to those people who chose my titles during her enormous Christmas giveaway. Hundreds of books were offered by dozens of authors, so, honestly, it was a relief not to be overlooked!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

It's that time of year again.

Every Christmas season, if I remember, I like to parade out this sweet, funny novel from my romance-writing past. For all its imperfections, I'm very, very fond of it.

I wrote Mrs. Claws -- originally with the subtitle, The Nightsweats Before Christmas -- approximately eight years ago. It was first published through a tiny romance press called Scheherazade Tales (now long gone), then reissued through Cerridwen Press, the demure sister of Ellora's Cave. EC has since developed an imprint called Blush, into which all its Cerridwen titles have been absorbed. (Did you follow that?) Long story shortened:  Mrs. Claws is still available, now as an EC "Blush" title. Click on this post's title to get to the book's page.

Yup, it's an m/f romance, but it isn't saccharine or angsty and contains no explicit sex.

Following is a blurb. Merry Christmas!

Crap, Christmas is coming. That's Lauren's attitude. Why? Because her husband left her for a twit. And because she's dated seventeen losers since her divorce. That's why. "The most wonderful time of the year" doesn't seem all that damned wonderful to her, and she's not in the mistletoe mood. But she wants to be. (Well, okay, her therapist wants her to be.)

In an effort to get her therapist off her back achieve her goal, Lauren applies for a job playing Mrs. Santa Claus. That might get her in the holiday spirit. Unless, of course, the job turns out to be a bigger bite than she can chew, and a major reason for its unchewability is that one of those seventeen losers happens to be playing Santa opposite her -- at a huge shopping mall, no less. Then there are those inevitable encounters with difficult children and parents, the interference of meddlesome friends, and the appearance of an icky ex or two.

Quite a lot to handle for a diehard Grinchette. But if Lauren toughs it out, this grueling season might bring her more than Christmas cheer. It might very well give her the gift of love.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Saturday Snark!

I missed last week's snark extravaganza because of the Big Computer Switchover. It felt a little odd not participating. So, I got an early start today. Doesn't look like the other offerings are up yet, but if you check Marie's blog a little later (click on post title), you might find them.
Today I have a snip from my urban fantasy WIP, Scourge. It features a vampire who's become mortal again (and whose partner is a wizard) speaking with a vampire who's still a vampire. Long ago and far away, the two used to be lovers.

* * * 

Adin leaned across the table and stared fiercely at the vampire. “I swear to God, I’ll spit on anybody—politician or prince, preacher or pope—who tries to diminish what Jackson and I have together. So I sure as hell won’t hesitate to spit on some bloodsucking pagan.”
For a few moderately terrifying seconds, the skin around Rugh’s eyes puckered. His irises, shocking enough in their natural state, flared with hellish light. Adin braced himself. He could be flung across the room. He could be drained dry. And there wasn’t a damned thing he could do about either. Jackson wasn’t around, and his own preternatural powers had fled the moment he’d reverted to mortality.
Then Rugh blinked, turned his head away, and looked down. Was that a smile that played over his mouth?
“Perhaps, he said, I should sit farther away from you.”

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

New Computer!

After eight years of nursing my old Dell with Windows XP through increasing numbers of frustrating -- and, to me, inexplicable and irreversible -- problems, I finally broke down and got a whole new desktop system with a Windows 7 OS. The biggest challenges I'm facing right now are getting used to this keyboard (especially the space bar), dealing with my Word 2003 docs vis a vis Word 2010 (and just getting used to 2010!) and restoring my old favorites list.

So if any of you have suggestions or tips, bring 'em on. I'd be most grateful. :)

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Dig it!

for the
goes to . . .


for . . .

! ! ! ! !

Monday, December 05, 2011

A Rare Public Appearance

Well, okay, so it's only online. I'll be at the blog of Jadette Paige on Pearl Harbor Day. (For those of you who are history challenged, that's December 7; for those of you who are calendar challenged, that's Wednesday.)

I'll be talking about what prompted me to write The Zero Knot and posting an excerpt that's never appeared anywhere else -- except in the book, of course. ;-)

On a related note, I'm offering a signed print copy of this novel (if you live in the US or Canada) as part of Jessewave's 2011 "Big-Ass Holiday Author Giveaway" on December 22. This annual event lets writers thank readers for their support by gifting them with books. In case you're wondering, I haven't excluded readers who don't live in North America. Up to four people may choose any ebook from my backlist.

Saturday, December 03, 2011

Saturday Snark VII

Yessiree, it's that time again, thanks to the gracious (and funny!) Marie Sexton.

This week I'm bringing you Fallon, Todd, and Jake, aka the Hunt Club, from FUGLY, a contemporary fable. When these guys go clubbing together, they love getting their snark on; it's part of their man-hunt ritual. But . . . they end up paying a high price for their ridicule. (David Ocho, the narrator in the snip below, observes but doesn't participate in the snark -- lucky for him.)

* * *

The Hunt Club began doing what it did best: scan the area for prey while making snide comments about the men who weren’t up to their standards.

A group of five kids walked in. They looked like kids to me, anyway, but were probably students from the university.

“Here comes the itty-bitty-titty committee,” Todd said.

“I don’t mind snack-sized,” Fal countered.

“Then maybe I should introduce you to Gabriel,” Todd told him. “I think he’s got a crush on me. I’d like to nip it in the bud.”

Gabriel was a new Sudbury-Bischoff employee, an allegedly short and quirky young guy who took care of the cosmetic side of their preparation work. Todd preferred tall, handsome men. All three of them did.
Although none of us would’ve said so to Todd, we all wondered how he managed to hang on to any hook-up after the hook-up found out what he did for a living. It was an irrational prejudice, granted, but a prejudice we had trouble overcoming. Fallon had once said, “I’d do Toddy in a minute…after I knew he’d spent a day getting detoxed by a hazmat team and another twenty-nine days in the shower.”

A short time after the twinks walked in, Jake peevishly noted the “glamazon” who was dancing with a man he fancied. Fallon, possibly taking umbrage, said glam was better than butter-faced, which described the glamazon’s partner.

“Damn, look at that one,” Todd said, pointing out a guy who was wending his way from the DJ to the bar.

“Yowza,” Jake said distastefully.

“Boy must’ve tumbled from the tippy-top of the fugly tree,” said Fal, “and hit every branch on the way down.”

Friday, December 02, 2011

New WIP Sneak Peek

If you look at the sidebar under "Pages," you'll see a new post. I've put up an excerpt from Scourge: Red, the first part of my in-progress Jackson Spey Scourge trilogy. (Still don't know if this will be a proper trilogy -- meaning, three separate books -- or one book divided into three parts. How it shakes out will depend on the length of each section. I'm currently working on the second.)