Saturday, January 31, 2009

Don't Kid Yourself

How can we make a difference when things seem unfair or overwhelming? My entire life, I've heard people say, "Write your congressman...write your senator." Well, I'm here to tell you, you may as well go spit in the wind for all the good is does.

Here are snippets of a post sent to both Senator John McCain and Congresswoman Kirkpatrick, both elected officials from the State of Arizona:

Congresswoman Kirkpatrick:
I am copying you on the message I just sent to Senator McCain. I'm hoping SOMEONE will intervene to help ****** an Arizona resident and tax payer, in his time of need. This is indeed a matter of life and death for him. Besides his current emergency medical condition, he's depressed, alone, and I'm terribly concerned about him. Please find time in your busy schedule to show that the system does care.
Dear Senator McCain:
I supported you during the election, and now I'm hoping you'll find time in your schedule to show me you're a man of your word...that you truly care about the working class person. My ****** is hospitalized in ****** Arizona at the moment. He had the misfortune to serve our country during the Reagan Administration, and because of legislation, has no Veteran's benefits. **** recently had two surgeries to remove and repair a colon tumor. This all following being laid off from his job, discovering that his company did not pay into unemployment, losing his place of residence and being left virtually homeless and penniless. Why am I writing? Because ***** is a man, there are no resources available to him. He can get $100.00 in food stamps and medical attention, but where is he supposed to live when relatives have no additional funds to support him in these tough times. He's on his own.

Suffice to say, I heard absolutely NOTHING back from either. So much for writing the government. I guess I took that term "serving the people" too literally. What do you suppose it really means?

I should have learned from my sister's experience. A while back, she worked for a hospice as the quality control person. When she discovered the mistreatment of dying patients, she turned whistle blower...a supposed protective status. Her job afforded her access to patient records, so she copied and documented the falsified visits, the instances where medications were never administered, and the blatant disregard of care and compassion for those beyond normal medical help. The materials were mailed by certified her expense, to all the local and federal agencies concerned with hospice care. She received one phone call from a nurse in San Diego who shared the concern, and that was the total extent of the responses to her dire cry for help. In the end, she was fired from her job, despite laws that are supposed to protect her. No attorneys she contacted were interest in a case that wouldn't garner any money for them. So much for doing good deeds. It doesn't pay to be a 'right fighter,' but she's the kind who can't sit back and watch people treated unfairly. We need to elect her to a government position that represents the people. I guess it's better to elect someone who forgot to pay their taxes as the head of Treasury, put a known plagiarist in as VP, and nominate a former senate majority leader and known income tax evader as the Secretary of Health and Human Services. If you want to read some eye-opening stories, you might visit: Michelle Malkin's Blog This woman is spot on!

These are the people who are working on our economic stimulus package...the same one's that think it's important to fund contraceptive programs, chlamydia and aids testing, the carbon recovery contest...whatever that is, and to concentrate on building energy efficient cars that no one can afford to buy. Have a gander at the crap that seems to share equal concern with the massive number of people out of work. Shouldn't they be concentrating on what they can fix NOW? I'm all for taking care of the environment, but first, let's put people back to work so they can support their families and get on with life. Too many people are contemplating ending theirs.

Rant over...for now!

Friday, January 30, 2009

All Good Things Must End

As Bring a Character to Blog Week dies down, I'd like to thank all my guests. I'm sure you agree that my fellow authors who posted here this week have done a stellar job. I'm so pleased to host each and every one of them. To add to the fun, I'll be picking some lucky prize winners from among those who commented.

The first person will receive Witches Brew by Tabitha Shay. Tab is always a best-selling author at Eternal Press, and I see from the comments here, she's a big draw wherever she goes. I've had the pleasure of reading her work and becoming her friend, and both have been my pleasure. You can find out more about her and her work at Tabitha Shay

The second name drawn will receive Privy to Murder by Carol Shenold, another valued friend and colleague. Trust me when I tell you that Carol has a captivating style in mystery writing. To find out more about Carol and her books, please visit Carol's Website .

And last, but certainly not least, the third name drawn will receive The Cross of Tarlis by Julie D'Arcy. Without Julie, I would never have found Eternal Press. I owe a lot to her. Her book is listed as a paranormal sci/fi, packed with action and adventure. Julie has taken a respite from writing, but you can find more about her books at All Romance Ebooks

I thank these three ladies for donating their hard work for your free enjoyment. I'll be drawing names on Sunday and announcing the winners on Monday, here on the blog. Please check back and see if you happen to be one of the lucky visitors. *smile*

Thursday, January 29, 2009

A First Contact with Hannah & Gideon from Undercover Alien

“Hi. Hannah Morgan here. Not sure what I’m supposed to be saying, but--”

“Just introduce yourself. Name, profession, interests, that sort of thing. How hard can it be? For instance, I’m Gideon Cyrus, extraterrestrial, and I’m honored to be here today to tell you about--”

“You are not an alien. You’re a little weird, yeah, but trust me, guys, I’d know if he was this year’s version of ET. I’m a professional ufologist.”

Sigh. “How many times do I have to prove it to you?”

“Proof? What proof? All you’ve done so far is fry a few streetlights and knock off a Mr. Coffee machine. Nothing’s happened that can’t be explained by bad wiring.”

“And that tingle you feel when I touch you? A personal electrical problem?”

Mutters under breath. “Static electricity. Wouldn’t happen if you’d bother to wear real shoes with rubber soles instead of those coochie things.”

“Gucci, not--” Another sigh. “Never mind. I don’t suppose I can expect more from a woman who thinks high fashion is matching her baseball cap to her t-shirt.”

“Hey, my socks match, too.”

“They match each other.”

“And your point is?”

“My point is…how did we get on this subject? It isn’t what I came to talk about. Why does this always happen around you?”

“Don’t look at me. I just stopped by because that author, Barbara Romo, told me to. I’ve got better things to do. If they want to know more, they can get a copy of Undercover Alien at”

“You are, without a doubt, the worst salesperson I have ever met.”

“Hey, I know what to say. If you’re appliance-challenged like our guy Gideon here, you can also get printed copies through Amazon. The author’s got links to all that stuff from her site at . See? Covered all the bases.”

Appliance-challenged? Alwynn’s Fire…I give up. For more information and civilized conversation, please stop by my blog,, or the blog I share with Galvistor the Dragon at”

“Right. Two blogs and a dragon. Pretending to be ET isn’t enough for you?”

“Say goodbye, Hannah.”

Laughs. “Later, guys. Thanks for the invitation, Ginger. It’s been a blast.”

Come meet Kristine Olsen from Breaking All The Rules

When temptation walks through the door, it’s time to get rid of the rulebook.

Her assignment as an investigative journalist is to get the story on a sex resort, not sleep with her servant! But Kristine Olsen can’t stop wanting the sexy man assigned to her. She hasn’t counted on the unexpected feelings for Cole, and especially the story she uncovers.

When Cole Hunt spots the newest guest, he knows his week will be filled with more than just paperwork to close his resort. The blue-eyed beauty has branded him with her white-hot kisses. She’s keeping secrets, but will giving his heart to Kristine become his downfall when his resort is exposed?
Is breaking the rules worth it?


Kristine’s breasts tingled where they pressed against Cole’s hard, muscular arm. She shouldn’t be acting like such a sex-starved woman, but sex was the only way to get what she wanted. After all, this was the only language men understood.

She stroked his thigh, trying not to come too close to his crotch, only because she was afraid of what she’d do if she touched it. Would he be enormous? Or would she discover that she didn’t affect him in any way?

No. She did affect him. His dark, passionate eyes had given it away at the pool this afternoon. His green gaze told her how excited he was even now.

Taking a deep breath, she inched her hand closer to that part of him she knew she shouldn’t be touching. “Will you?”

His Adam’s apple bobbed. “Will I what?” His voice came out deep.

“Will you answer some questions for me?”

A heavy sigh came from him before he nodded. “What would you like to know?”

“How many people come to this resort each month?”

“I’m not sure.” He ran his fingers through his hair. “I’d probably say about eighty. It averages about twenty a week.”

“Interesting.” She dropped her gaze to his sensual mouth, then to the adorable dimple that creased his chin whenever he grinned really big. Why did he have to be so heart-stopping good-looking?

She met his gaze again. “Why do you think they come here?”

He chuckled and shrugged. “Probably the same reason you did. For a little R and R.”

She laughed before she had a chance to stop it. His eyes widened, as did his grin.

“You don’t believe me?” he asked.

“If people come here for rest and relaxation, why don’t they bring their husbands or wives?”

“Good question. I don’t know.”

“Oh, I think you do.” She scooted closer and eased her hand up on his thigh.

“Why did you come?” he asked. “I’m sure you’ve heard about the activities in this resort. Why do you think people would come here without their husbands and wives?”

She nodded. “It’s true, I heard about this resort from my friend. Honestly, I didn’t believe it, so I decided to come here and check it out.”

He cocked his head. “You didn’t come to find a lover?”


“Yet, you came knowing what to expect.”


“Why? Did you come to watch others groping at each other? Is that what turns women like you on nowadays?”

He shifted in his chair, which brought him closer. Her hand brushed against something extremely hard...and stiff. She sucked in a quick breath, trying not to act too surprised.

Knowing she had brought her hand too far, she slowly withdrew, but underneath the table, his fingers clamped over hers and brought it back to his erection, flatting her palm over it. She gasped, but didn’t pull away.

Heat rose from inside his pants, and his hardness pulsated against her palm. The urge to cup him and feel out his size was powerful, but she resisted. Her strength sapped second by second, and she worried of what she’d do if she couldn’t pull away.

Her breathing quickened, as did his, she noticed. She parted her mouth to say something, but no words would come. Only hot and heavy breathes.

“Is this what you want, Kristine?” His voice was low as he moved her hand over his length.

Oh, God. He had no idea.

Watch for my release with Carnal Passions Feb. 11th


Waiting For Elaine

Excuse me. My name is Nikki Lane. Could you tell me if Elaine Cantrell is here yet? Oh, you haven’t seen her? We were supposed to meet at lunch to talk about the mess she’s gotten me into. Join you until she comes? Why, thank you. I’d love to.

Nikki takes a seat beside the restaurant hostess.

Elaine’s a good friend, but honestly I don’t know what she’s thinking! She knows me, so she knows I can never have a relationship with a man like Tommy Price. Oh, you’ve heard of Tommy? I guess most people in this town have. I know he’s a lawyer, but don’t be thinking he’s a bloodsucker like most of ‘em. Tommy’s wonderful! Too good for me, and that’s a fact.

Why, when my son Michael had to have his appendix taken out Tommy paid the bill for me. I don’t have any insurance, so I can’t tell you how much I appreciated it. Frowns Yeah, I appreciated it, but it embarrassed the heck out of me to take his money. It’s disgraceful not to be able to pay your own child’s hospital bill.

It’s not only his money that separates us though. Oh, no. He’s a lawyer so you know how long he had to go to school. Guess what level of education I have? Eleventh grade. I dropped out when I got pregnant because I had to go to work to support me and the baby. Did I learn my lesson about the no account bum I was dating? Of course not! I let him get me pregnant a second time.

I don’t have fancy manners like Tommy does either. We double dated with some friends of his, and we went to this hoity toity restaurant where I ordered some punch that turned out to be alcoholic. I had too much and embarrassed everyone. Not that I cared about myself so much, but I hated to embarrass Tommy in front of his friends.

Couldn’t I taste the alcohol? No, I don’t drink at all. Most of my relatives are alcoholics except for my cousin Dan. Neither of us has ever tasted a drop of alcohol. Well, not counting the punch.

What do I do for a living? I work at Super Mart, you know: the discount store. I bet Tommy enjoys telling people about that. He hangs out with authors, mayors, and business people, not people who work at Super Mart. I live in a trailer too, not a big, fancy house like Tommy’s.

Sighs. He says he loves me, but how could he? We’re too different. I guess he likes going out with me because he doesn’t know a thing about my world, but he’ll get tired of me eventually and want a girl from his own social class. Somebody’s gonna get hurt real bad, and it’ll probably be me.

Oh, there comes Elaine. Thank goodness! Not that I haven’t enjoyed talking to you, but I have a bone to pick with Elaine. Thanks for listening to me. Waves at Elaine. Elaine, over here.

Sayin' hi, from Nancy Wallace

Hi there. I am Shannon Wallace's other aunt, Nancy. I am the strong one in our family, and I usually have to do the dirty work around here. Like telling, Shannon that her boyfriend was dead. Boy, did that ever stink! I was busy making pasta for the noon crowd at the restaurant. She was clueless, people. Totally clueless. Once the deed was done though, I just shushed my sister, Tillie, right up and let the poor girl deal with it.

Hope you enjoy finding out what she does next. Go to and hunt up Avenging Angel, something or other. That's the book we're all in... and if you wanna know more about me, just Google "postal worker". Yeah, I'm in there, under the retireds.

Meet Antonio, Vampire Family Patriarch

An Interview with Antonio Welshire, patriarch of The Vampire Family

By Leigh Wood

Antonio Welshire sits down on this cold winter day for a rare interview with author Leigh Wood.

Leigh Wood: Mister Welshire, you murdered your mother and father-

Antonio Welshire: I was abused.

LW: That being said, you were 16 years old.

AW: 16 years is a long time to be abused, but please, call me Antonio.

LW: Antonio, isn’t there an alternative to patricide?

AW: If patricide is necessary, than no, there’s no alternative. A child should be disciplined, risen to take control, carpe diem.

LW: You have five children. How do you keep them in line, then? Is it not true that at least two of your children have tried to kill you?

AW: Those are vicious rumors brought forth from my enemies. If you cannot trust your family, what is there?

LW: These enemies, would that be The Lilithan?

AW: Do not speak that name to me. We’re having such a lovely debate, Leigh, there’s no need to bring bitter business into it, is there?

LW: You business is built upon the bitter, is it not?

AW: Only for the victim.

LW: What about your recruits? Is your extended family ever displeased with the vampire lifestyle?

AW: Some have a period of…adjustment…but that is uncommon. A few years of melancholy before the immortal experience is fully appreciated.

LW: And your wives?

AW: I’ve been married only once. Elizabeth has been my one and only for ten centuries.

LW: There’s no need to lie, Mister Welshire.

AW: Well, of course, there is many a pretty face under my roof, but many handsome men are found in my family as well.

LW: Including your two sons, Stephen and James?

AW: Very handsome men, warriors. They keep a few steady ladies, but marriage isn’t set in stone for a vampire.

LW: Is it true you favor your daughter Victoria the most?

AW: Favoritism! How can a father choose? Victoria is however, the natural leader among all my children. I suspect she will rule my clan long after I’ve gone.

LW: Do you not expect to live forever?

AW: I’ve been alive for 1,000 years. It would be unrealistic to assume infinite immortality. I’ve seen turbulent times before-times ripe for a vampire to step up and reign. There have also been dark times, underground times.

LW: You are not afraid to speak of being a vampire now?

AW: No.

LW: You don’t care if humanity knows what you are?

AW: Humanity knows what I am. I respect people, I really do. It is not us who don’t take care, but them. What does humanity believe in today? Not themselves, not this planet? They do not fear us, and they should. A vampire has emotion, desire, power. Humans are full of their frailty.

LW: Do you really believe that? I don’t.

AW: I could prove it too you…

Meet Tyler Bishop from Sparta, Tennessee

We’re very pleased to have Tyler Bishop with us today. Mr. Bishop is the hero in Ginger’s Simpson’s upcoming release, Sparta Rose. So, Mr. Bishop, welcome to Dishin’ It Out.

TB – “Ty, please. Mr. Bishop was my father. And thanks for the welcome, but I’m here under duress.”

INT - “Really.”

TB –“I have things waiting to be done. Cows need to be moved to another pasture, fences need mendin’ and the longer I dawdle, the more I stand to lose favor with my boss, Ben.”

Int – “Ben? Would that be Ben Fountain, father of the heroine, Ellie Fountain?”

TB – “Yep, that’d be right. There’s another reason I need to get movin’… Ellie. For some reason, that little filly is out to get me. Seems every time I chew the fat with her pa, she gets her nose out of joint. I never met someone so… so…what’s the word I’m looking for. You know, someone who wants to prove they can do everything better than the next feller?”

INT – “Oh, you mean competitive.”

TB – “That’s her in a nutshell. Just wait till you read the story. She even went out, bought a gun and learned to shoot. She’s says it’s because of the polecats next door, threatening to trespass on Ben’s land, but I say different.”

INT – “Really? Why do you think she bought the gun?”

TB – “To try to show me up. She already thinks she can ride and rope as good as any man, and lord knows, she could stand to dress up a bit. Sometimes it’s hard to tell there’s a girl under that big ol’ hat and the layer of dust.

INT – “Does she always dress in men’s clothing?”

TB – “Well she did until I invited her to a dance. Ben sort of pushed me into it, but down deep I wanted to go with her. She looked mighty pretty, all fancied up, but instead of the evening turnin’ out like I planned, she went and got herself in trouble again. She should have listened to me about those pesky Bryant boys.”

INT – “What kind of trouble did she get into?”

TB – “I may be greener than most folks you know, but I ain’t about to divulge Ginger’s whole story. Ellie is a real tomboy, and she stays madder than a wet hen at me most times, but I’ll just say, I think she finally realizes there are just times a woman can’t match a man’s strength.”

INT – “Well it sounds like I’ll have to buy my own copy if I want to see how this turns out.”

TB – “You’re right welcome to visit Eternal Press. That’s where Ellie and my story is being released on February 7th. I’m not real savvy when it comes to the Internet, but I wrote this down. *fishes in pocket*. Let’s see, Ain’t got no idea what that means, but Ginger said to share it with ya’ll. I thank you for the time, but I best get going. I fear once Sparta Rose debuts, my life is gonna change.

INT – “Well, we hope it's for the best. Thank you, Ty, and please visit us again.”

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The Eagle at Midnight by Ava James

A previously Unreleased Excerpt from The Eagle At Midnight.

Sweaty and spent, she lay in his muscular arms and wondered if she would ever have another night like this. Deryn glanced at the clock on the nightstand. 11:58. Almost midnight, that meant it was 5:58 p.m. back home in the Midwest . If Llaw’s steady heartbeat and breath were any indicators, she guessed he was asleep.
Her eyelids heavy, she closed them for a moment only to wake up on a hard, cold floor. Floor?
“What the…?” Deryn groaned. She sat up, sore and weary from their vigorous lovemaking. Although the bed sheet clung to her body, this certainly was not her bed. Her bed was warm with an incredible sex god in it. This place was cold and sterile. The smell reminded her of a hospital. No lilies here..
She looked around the vast hall. It was reminiscent of an ancient Grecian temple. The columns and pillars of purplish quartz-like stone supported a crystal ceiling on a clouded crystal floor. In a word: epic.
Confusion ruled her consciousness. She felt like Alice tumbling down the rabbit hole toward the unknown. Terror gripped her throat, and she pulled the bed sheet—her one and only link to reality—closer to her chest.
A lone figure, dressed in a flowing gown, materialized from the shadows. Long fair tresses hung loose over the apparition’s shoulders. Wrapped about the upper arms were glistening bands of what she assumed were gold inlayed with gemstones. Deryn rubbed her eyes, blinked, and squinted at the physique. It was a woman, but who?
This is one messed up dream! Too much sex equals vivid dreams!
The woman approached with long graceful strides. Her face clearer now, her beauty became more apparent, and her features bore a resemblance to…Llaw?
“Get up,” the regal woman commanded.
Deryn obeyed, confused by her dream.
“You’re not dreaming.”
She can read minds!
“Of course I can, human. I am a goddess, after all.” The woman raked Deryn with a glare and rolled her eyes. “Don’t look so bewildered, you just slept with a god.” The goddess shook her head and appeared annoyed. “My son, Lleu Llaw Gyffes, is a god.”

Tasmin Bey

Good evening. My name is Tasmin Bey, and I was raised in the northern part of the land, where the winters can be long, but the summers are gentle and beautiful. I have always known who I would marry…that is not unusual, in Berengeny we use a spell to determine who we will wed as children, a spell that determines who our best match is, not necessarily who we will love. I have never known anyone who did not, eventually, at least, fall in love with the one they married, and I expect much the same of mine, to William of Almsley.

William is from the south, I fear, something that my parents are less than pleased with. There was a war, years ago, and the south has lost most of its magic…they call us witches, we call them barbarians. It is, I suppose, the way of the world, to distrust those that are different, though at times it grieves me, and worries me.

I am most fortunate, I believe, in my choice of spouse. He writes me letters…he has always done so, even when we were children. In that chest over there, you will find every one of his missives to me, and much of what you see in this room are gifts that accompanied them, for he is a sea captain, and has seen the world.

He tells me, in his letters, of how others find those they will wed. The uncertainty would unnerve me. How do you know, when you sit beside someone, and he starts speaking to you, if he truly likes you, or if he’s only being polite? How do you know if his heart is already taken, or if his intentions are kind? I do believe it would drive me mad, the wondering of it, the constant searching, the feeling of not being quite…right.

That does not mean to say that I am perfectly confident. Mine is not the face to set sail a thousand ships, and he has never seen me, so he has no idea what he is getting into. No one is able to reject their betrothed out of hand (indeed, during the ceremony, the bride is veiled, the groom faced away from her approach, so that they do not see each other until it is, as it were, too late.) and there are very few reasons that a betrothal may be broken. Treason is one…if the person murders someone, or commits some other terrible crime, all things William would never do.

To be honest, I have no idea what I’m getting into, either. The unknown country that is the South, where they will treat me, doubtless, with suspicion and distrust. I feel I know my husband through his words, but I cannot hear his voice in my head, so all those lines I took to mean one thing may be painted quite differently when I know the inflections of his voice, his expressions.

Now, all I have to do is wait until he sends for me, and live my life until he does.

Congrats to Sheri

Congrats goes to Sheri,
She's the lucky winner whose name i drew from the witch's hat...Sheri, please email me offline at so I can send you your book...Thanks to everyone who left comments today...And TY, Miz Ging, for having me as your guest today...Saylym/Tabs

Aunt Tillie's Recipe for Dressing

Hey y'all ! Kim Smith sent me over to here to give y'all one of my recipes. You know I have an old South style restaurant in her book, Avenging Angel, A Shannon Wallace Mystery, right? Well, I do. Shannon Wallace is my darling niece, daughter to my late brother, God rest his soul.

Anyway, here's my recipe for good old hot cornbread dressing. This ain't for stuffing y'all, this is for eating!

Corn Bread Dressing

6 cups crumbled corn bread
2 cups white bread crumbs (yes, you can use the heels)
8 cups canned chicken broth (or make your own)
2 large onions, finely chopped
1 cup celery, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
4 eggs, beaten
1 stick of butter or margarine

Sauté onions and celery in melted butter until tender. Mix salt, pepper, and poultry seasoning with stock. Mix in corn bread, bread crumbs, onions and celery. Cover tightly and refrigerate for several hours or over night.(I have left it out and it didn't hurt nothing)
Remove from refrigerator stir in beaten eggs. Pour into a greased 9x13-inch baking dish. (Top with pats of butter for a richer dressing.) Bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until lightly brown. Serve hot.

I hope y'all will get Kim's book. It's at and it's GOOOOOD!!!

Hi there!. I'm Sierra Hart.

You can find my story in The Edge of Morning at Total-e-bound.

I thought I’d been hiding out pretty well having just dumped my last job and latest love, trying to figure out the next step in my life when Desi showed up, banging on my door.
I was stunned that she’d found me, because I didn’t think anyone knew about the cabin in Maine my grandfather had just willed to me. It’s surrounded by five thousand of the most pristine forest you can imagine. A great place to get my head together. Isolation, nature and fresh air.
But you know Desi. She used to be a reports and she can track down anything. So there she is, sitting in my Adirondack chair, drinking my fresh-ground coffee and inhaling my fresh air, and determined to pry all my secrets out of me. But I don’t think even the fabulous Desiree Holt was prepared for what she found out.
It all started when she passed through my living room on the way to my kitchen for more coffee, and saw the ancient book I’d left on my coffee table , The Legend of the Wolf. Damn! If I’d known she was coming—although how could I possibly—I’d have hidden it away. I wasn’t yet prepared to answers questions about the book or Luke, the man who just appeared in my life. Or the wolf itself.
But she’s so darn persistent, I had to tell her about the gorgeous silver wolf who kept appearing right at the edge of my clearing, just as morning came up each day. A beautiful wolf. Magnificent. And shockingly friendly. He even came right up to my desk and let me touch him.
I shivered just thinking about it.
You think that would satisfy this woman? Hell, no. She poked and prodded and finally got it out of me about Luke Spencer, who is the hero of The Edge of Morning. My story and his. I still remember the night I first met him. Luke is well over six feet, lean and broad shouldered. Dark brown hair with traces of silver dusts his shoulders and frames a starkly masculine face—high cheekbones, square jaw and unusual amber eyes. And she nearly squirmed off her chair when I told her about the first night he showed up at the cabin, the erotic sex we enjoyed, she forgot to take notes.
She pounced at once on the fact that he’d left me the book to read, a book about an ancient race of people who are able to shift back and forth between wolf and human form. I could see her practically drooling when I told her about the first time I saw Luke shift, and realized he was the huge silver wolf who’d been so friendly.
But of course being Desiree, she wanted every little detail about the erotic things we did together, and where it was going. I had to tell her Luke had reached into my heart and captured it. Me, who had sworn off men forever. Me, who planned to live as a hermit forever. Me, who’d never realized how pale my sex life had been.’
Then of course I had to tell her about the men threatening me because they wanted my land. And about Luke’s agency, The Sentinels. And about…
Oh, wait. If you want to know the rest, ya gotta read my story.
The Edge of Morning is available at Total-e-bound,
And come visit Desiree at

Meet a genuine leanan sidhe, Margaid, the heroine of A Fine Cauldron of Fish.

Cornelia: “Margaid thank you for inviting me into your lovely home here, beneath the sea. Let me describe it for the readers, you mounted a beeswax candle on each of the long rock-sickles dangling above your dining area. What a gorgeous natural chandelier.”

Margaid:“Thank you, Corny.”

Cornelia: “There’s a breathtaking view from a round glass window cut into the ceiling, look at those fish swim by, rainbow-hued, glossy scales shimmering with light. And your home is full of exquisite antiques and tapestries.”

Margaid:“I’ve collected them for eons.”

Cornelia: “Margaid, may I ask just how old you are?”

Margaid: “I lost count. Aging for the fey is not the same as for humans, the number of years or centuries doesn’t matter. I just don’t age, not really.”

Cornelia: “You look fabulous. And your home is certainly in an unusual location. I didn’t know people lived in underwater caves.”

Margaid: “Well people don’t, if you mean mortals.”

Cornelia: “But the leanan sidhe do?”

Margaid: “Oh yes we are quite at home in our caves."

Cornelia: “This is quite unusual. You have a large red cauldron sitting in the main room of your lovely cavern.”

Margaid: “Oh, I don’t think so. I wouldn’t use the word unusual. I’m sure you have a cauldron sitting in your living room.”

Cornelia: “No.”

Margaid: “Then how do you cook?”

Cornelia: “To be honest I don’t, but on those rare occasions, I use an electric range.”

Margaid: “Corny, I really don’t think anyone is interested in the cauldron.”

Cornelia: “Margaid, tell us about it.”

Margaid: Why do you want to bring all that up?”

Cornelia: “You’re not going to talk about the cauldron are you?”

Margaid: “No, ask something else. Anything else.”

Cornelia: “What do you want to say to everyone out there?”

Margaid: “If you come to the Isle of Man, drop by my cave, we’ll have such fun and I’ll make you some yummy bonnag for dessert.”

Cornelia: “And that is what we have here, right? It’s a golden brown pie, flattish, looks a bit like a large meat pie.”

Margaid: “I made it over the other cauldron, not the red one, of course.”

Cornelia: “Actually, I watched you prepare this, when you put the iron lid on the cauldron, which hangs above the turf fire in the hearth, it’s like a pot oven.”

Margaid: “Yes, it does a nice job of baking.”

Cornelia: “Margaid, would you give us your recipe?”

Margaid:”Yes, I’d love to. Is everyone ready? In a large bowl, mix in 1 lb of flour, 4 oz margarine, 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp baking soda, 1 tsp cream of tartar, 4 oz sugar, and 4 oz currants.”

Cornelia: ”Thank you, and Margaid for those in the U.S., like me, can we use berries of our choice to substitute for currants?”

Margaid: “Yes, any berries, and bake it for 45 minutes, you can use any oven, if you don’t have the benefit of a nice iron cauldron as I do.”

Cornelia: “I’m cutting this into as many pieces as possible, so everyone can have a piece. Readers, hold out your cyber plates and let me give you a slice of Margaid’s fruit bonnag.”

Margaid: “How is it?”

Cornelia: “It’s so good. Delicious.”

Margaid:”Everyone, have a cyber slice. Enjoy your yummy bonnag. Bye-bye. Slane lhiat (slenn-L’YATT).”

Cornelia: Goodbye for now.“

Waving bye.

A hero by default?? That's what I get when I let him loose on his own...

This is a rare opportunity for me and although I’m feeling a little out of my depth (it’s a bit like being the lion in a den of Daniels) it’s quite a novel experience. Oh my – no pun intended.
Oh, right. I forgot to introduce myself. I’m Cade Harper, and I suppose you could call me the hero of the piece – Still Running that is. I think I got to be a hero by default seeing as you could say I’m Josie Tate’s romantic interest. (That sounds a bit lame I know, but you have to remember that I’m a man in a woman’s world here!)
Anyway, as I was saying… I got to be a hero by default. I’ve never considered myself much of a hero. Actually I’m just a normal South African man leading a normal South African man’s life on a normal South African farm. Until Josie blew in, that is. And blew “normal” right out the window.
The thing is, back on the farm things like that just don’t happen. Life has its own routine, you know, and it’s good. I come from a close family, and we run the stud together as friends, and things seemed that they’d go on like that always.
Regrets? Hell no! Josie Tate was the best thing that ever happened to me, though she didn’t think so and gave me a real runaround. Still, it was worth it. But I have to say that from the minute she arrived on my doorstep, life was never the same again.
There were times, though, that I was close to just giving up and walking away. You have to see if from my point of view – I’ve always had a fair amount of attention from the opposite sex. And to suddenly find someone who backed away from the word go, who wouldn’t let me in, wouldn’t let me near… well, hell, any man would sometimes wonder what he thought he was doing still hanging in there.
That’s where Judah was a great help. She kept swinging things so that, even though most of the time I didn’t know what the hell was going on, there was something that kept me going. And not just the children, mind you. Other things, other people… Okay, I’m on strict instructions not to say too much here, so you’re going to have to find the details for yourself.
Let’s just say that personally I think it’s a story worth telling. I know I’m biased, being in it and all, but it has all the right ingredients – a good story, a murky past and dark secrets, obstacles and a good handful of interesting people. And it’s set on my stud farm, which I happen to think is the most incredible place in the whole world…
And what was it like sharing the limelight? Actually it was quite easy, except for all the other people rattling round in the same space. They got on my nerves a bit now and then, because if you’re going to have someone write your story then you want all their attention. Still, I’m a patient kind of guy and I know that everyone probably feels the same.
She could get a bit irritating now and then, though – wouldn’t leave things alone. I’m not a “make a noise” kind of guy, and emotions… well let’s just say that it wasn’t always easy to just put it out there. I think women are a lot better at it than men, most of the time. But Judah was patient, most of the time anyway. Occasionally she’d put her foot down with both hands and make me spill it, just like it was. I haven’t read the book myself though – not sure that I want to actually see myself feel things if you know what I mean.
Still, it’s worth reading. I think what I like about it is the “hope thing”, you know. The possibility of better things, and I know from first hand experience what real love is – how it changes you, and how it can reach into places you didn’t really know existed.
So what is Still Running about? Well I think it’s a story about love, and it’s power to heal. I think Josie’s story, and mine I suppose, is about having the courage to fight and to overcome, to hang in there when things seem impossible. But it’s also about a lot of other things, except you’re going to have to find those out for yourself…
I’m going to duck, I’m afraid – horses to see to and a certain very gorgeous, definitely serious heroine as well. Gotta make sure those running shoes are still well hidden…
Oh, I almost forgot. Still Running is available on:

Bubba's in Town

Wow, this place is hopping all over the place. Began to wonder if I'd get the invite to join or not. Guess what? I'm here! Thanks, Mrs. Simpson, appreciate the late invite. I'll make sure to tell the rest of the guys we're ready to go this week.

My name's Bubba, and yeah, you heard right. My parents lived during the 60's and, well, guess that influenced their decision some way or the other. Grew up loved, have tons of self-esteem, but the one area I need to improve on is my 'faster than a shooting bullet' mouth. I tend to speak before I think things through and usually get into trouble, dragging a few of my friends along with me.


dad got transferred...again...and I found myself at a new high school...again. I hate new schools. Everyone knows everyone, bullies feel they own the school, I end up smack in the middle of scrimmages because I hate anyone shoving their ugly "This is my school and you'll do as I say" face right up to mine. And boy, did I ever meet the Ugly Troublesome Trio at this high school. More on that at a later post. Right now the most important thing I want to say is how surprised I was to meet my best friend at this new school.

Who would have thunk it - big six-foot, two hundred pound gentle bear David and me, tough guy all around, would end up with so many similar likes and dislikes. And he's lucky I met him cos that Ugly Troublesome Trio, BAD news, capitals all around. Can't believe the things they did to him. But more than that, I can't believe David held a secret from me. That really hurt me.

Okay, gotta go. Mom's yellin' 'bout homework again. Straight A's - you can't please this woman.

Meet Summer Langston's Men

Men kissing woman
Two men vie for Summer's love -- and her fabulous horse??

Ned Granger - wealthy owner of Golden Oaks Farm has always loved Summer, but she blames him for causing her father's death. Can Ned break through Summer's anger and win her love? He also wants Meadow, her fabulous trotting filly, for a broodmare. Does he want the horse more than he wants Summer?

Davis Clayton -- famous racehorse driver can have any woman he wants and has experimented with many of them. Now he wants Summer. She's drawn to him, but is he too much like her father? Does he also want Meadow? Will Summer succumb to his masculine charm, or will she opt for security with Ned?

I'm A Witch!!

Good Morning Readers,
I’m Saylym Winslow, witch extraordinaire, (except when my magic goes berserk). I made my debut in Tabitha Shay’s novel, Witch’s Brew. Now I have to say, Tabitha’s a pretty good author (in her humble opinion), but I’m not too happy with what she did to my character.
She made me a bumbler of magic, sent witch assassins to kill me, and she erased my memory so I’d not recall I was a witch or had special powers. *Shudders*
Now I ask you, do you have any idea how scary it is when ordinary household items start to come to life and you have no idea why? And it's because I can't control my magic! Well let me tell you, when your bed talks to you, it scares the beeswax right outta you. Of course, Tabby sent me Prince Talon, my hero, so all is forgiven.
To read more about my wild misadventures, you should pick up a copy of Witch’s Brew at
While you’re there, check out her other books and also the contemporary western romances she writes under the name of Jaydyn Chelcee.
Oh, and for some great reviews, book covers and some really cool artwork of some of Tabitha’s witchy characters,(me included) scope out her website at
Now then, Tabitha has told me that whoever leaves a comment will have their name dropped in the witch’s hat and later today, about 5pm CST, I get to draw a lucky winner’s name for a free copy of Witch’s Brew…Woo Hoo!!!…So, be sure and leave those comments, and make sure you check back to see if you’re the lucky winner….Nice talking to you…Saylym Winslow

You Know You Want Little Miss Victoria Welshire

Admit it. After reading about my less than good side (well, that’d be *your* perspective anyway) you can’t help yourself. You want more, you know you do. So I’m not going to pussyfoot around. You simply can’t have me. Nobody can. My webmaster thinks she’s got me pegged, but that Kristin doesn’t do anything by keep people afraid of me. That’s how I like it. And so do you. Forget this sexy smexy vampire business. Its not my fault you fool people find evil and pain alluring. Pale skin and dark clothes were popular long before Hot Topic, you know. But I don’t mind. Quite the contrary. Go ahead, get yourself hot. Get all bothered. Bring your blood to a boil. Just let me know when the kettle whistles.

Hmph, Kristin. What does she know?

Victoria and Theodore continued down the dark stone stairs. Theodore grew colder and shivered. He felt the smooth, stone, cold steps beneath his leather boots. Despite their swift descent, he felt the arid air in his very core. A chill tingled up his spine and remained there until they came to a square stone room.

“Where are we going?” Theodore’s whispers echoed in the stone room.

“You will see.” Her booming voice sounded unnatural, and it hurt Theodore’ s ears. He said a small prayer for his ears, and Victoria gave Theodore a dirty look.

She handed him the lantern, and Victoria pushed the wall to the left of the stairs. Her pale and bare arms flexed against the stone. At first, nothing happened, and then Theodore heard the faint rubbing of rock against rock Victoria gave one final push and the wall slid back.

Victoria squeezed through the opening, and Theodore followed. He looked back at the stone slab, but through some unknown power, it slid back into place. Theodore’s fear grew. Thoughts ran through his head like water. He was terrified, but a calming sensation ran through his mind. A voice in his head calmed his fears.

Don’t let fear stop you. Keep going.

Theodore knew these thoughts were not his own, yet they were in his head. He followed the thoughts, entranced. Theodore continued to follow Victoria as well.

Theodore held up the lantern. “Do you want this?”

“I do not need it.”

They walked for infinity it seemed. Theodore was cold and tired, but Victoria was unfazed They reached another door. Theodore saw the elaborate writings on it, and Victoria put her hand up to the center symbol. The door fluctuated and ripples appeared. The marble appearance dissolved away, and the door became clear.

Is Victoria a witch? A wizard?

Victoria made no comment and simply walked through the door. She turned and looked at Theodore. He could see Victoria on the other side, yet Theodore was afraid to cross to the mystical room beyond.

There is nothing to be afraid of, Theodore.

Victoria reached through the mysterious plane and offered her hand to Theodore.

She uses her mind to do these tricks. Fascinating!

“You can do these tricks, too,” Victoria spoke. “If you come with me.”

Theodore slowly put up his left hand, for he still held the lantern in his right. He lightly touched Victoria’s fingertips. They were cold. Not like the snow above, but like a corpse, and Theodore knew the feel of the dead. He withdrew his hand.

“No,” Theodore said aloud. “If God wanted to give me these gifts, he would have already done so. No.”

Victoria reached out farther and grabbed Theodore’ s arm. She yanked him through the watery door, and Theodore dropped the lantern. It burst on impact, setting the hall ablaze. Theodore looked back at the hot blaze, then turned to the room that now unwilling housed him.

The room had a soft red carpet, and it was quite warm compared to its stone entryways. A fireplace crackled on the other side of the room.

No windows.

It was stupid of Theodore to look for a window, for he knew how far below the ground they were. However, he had hoped for some means of escape. Although there was no way he could push the stone rocks or the snow blocking his way to freedom. No, not as Victoria had done.

Theodore heard a whoosh behind him, and the transparent door was gone. Theodore stepped forward but landed on the soft plush rug.

“Only I know the way out.” Victoria stood by a table next to the fireplace and poured a glass of wine from the ancient and handcrafted bottle. Victoria drank the liquid in one gulp.

Theodore got up and approached the plush and pampered bed in the corner.

How did Victoria create this lair for her dark practices? When?

“Tell me, Theodore.” Victoria poured more of the wine. “Do you want to live forever?”

“It is unnatural. If God wanted man to live forever, he would have made our fragile bodies unbreakable.”

“Your fragile body. Not mine.” Victoria poured more of the wine to replenish the already gone last shot. “And didn’t your own Moses and Noah, Abraham and Adam, didn’t they live to be nine hundred and some? Wouldn’t you like to prolong your life as they did?”

“How long?” Theodore asked. All fools want to live a moment longer, especially when they feel they are near the time of death, as Theodore felt he was.

“However long you want.”

“No.” Theodore was a man. “Dying is a part of life. Why prolong the inevitable?”

Victoria drank every last drop from her glass and then smashed it in the fire. “You are absolutely right.”

Victoria leaped to Theodore’s side and plunged a piece of broken glass into Theodore’s chest. She held his neck and twisted and turned the glass until it was embedded terribly deep. Theodore gasped at the pain.

“I‘ve pierced your lung. Within the hour, you will die.” Victoria released Theodore, and he fell to the floor on his chest, further embedding the glass.

“How does it feel?” Victoria taunted. “T o know you are a fragile being? A being whose life can be taken at any moment! Your precious God will take you whenever he wants, and no one can change his mind. My God is not like that. He makes me powerful and strong. I can prevent your God from taking you away.”

Victoria picked up another hot shard of glass and slit the palm of her hand. Before she was done making the burning incision, it had healed. Theodore was awed.

“I can take the pain away, Theodore. I can make it so pain can never come to you again…if you let me.”

Victoria put out her hand as Theodore reached out and collapsed in her arms. Victoria grabbed the bottle from the table and ripped off Theodore’s jacket and shirt. She poured the wine onto his wound.

Theodore felt the liquid rush into his body. It was warm, yet cold. Foreign, yet his body could not fight it. The liquid shattered the glass, and Theodore could see all this happening when he closed his eyes, yet he did not know how. The foreign molecules attached themselves to his lung. The pinhole forged by the glass was closed.

“Now, Theodore, do you want this?” Victoria asked so sweetly.

Theodore spoke softly, “Yes.”

Victoria tilted his head back. Her long teeth extended farther, and her eyes turned into black slits surrounded by swarms of colors from brown to red to orange to yellow to green and back again. Victoria sunk her teeth into his neck. Theodore winced but made no effort to stop her.

Victoria took in his blood—young, sweet, salty. Images passed through Theodore’s mind. He was flying. He flew through the clouds and up to the stars and beyond. Theodore could feel his heart racing and knew his heart could not go much longer.

Victoria dug her teeth in farther, sucking in more of Theodore’s sweet juices.

I feel my life draining from me!

Victoria sucked harder and harder, and Theodore’s heart pounded and pounded and then . . .

The Long Way Home

Brian Cummings here. There's a lot going on here. I wasn't sure what to say so I've been looking over the blokes and ladies that were here already. There's a lot of variety. I like variety. That's why I'm the percussionist for ShadowsForge, British rock band on tour in the ShadowsForge series that was written by my lady friend, Jena Galifany.

I find myself in a different place almost each day. It never gets boring, I'll tell you that. Not with five of us to keep together and out of jail. Geoff, Jon, Ty and Jordan keep our manager Nigel jumping most days. Hey, it keeps him young.

Ty began this series in Three Times a Hero. He took an unexpected holiday and came back with a beauty of a woman, Alexis. Then some nutcase decided one of us had partied a bit too intimately with his woman and spent two weeks in Trials on Tour trying to take us out, permanently. Just when things were settling down, Jordan picked up a little number by the name of Crystal who literally turned the band upside down. Still got some scars from that ride.

Lady Jena has spent a lot of time with the members of the band, getting close to each of us on differing levels, doing what it takes to get our stories down. She and I spent a lot of late nights and emotional moments together when we wrote "The Long Way Home", ShadowsForge 4. She is an amazing lady to work with and was everything I needed her to be as I went back through my life, sharing that long road. She's a special lady and will always be in my heart. That's not an easy thing to do, either.

If you'd like to hear more about me or my band mates check us out at or There are excepts and more to be found there. I'll be dropping back by when we have a break in the tour.

I'll be collecting names from any comments made and will have a drawing for an ebook copy of my story, "The Long Way Home". The winner to be chosen on Saturday. Looking forward to seeing some comments from lads and ladies. Remember, if you miss the 80s or you missed the 80s, the answer is ShadowsForge!

Rock on!

Brian Cummings

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

What's up?

Hey y'all! I'm Dwayne Brown, friend to Shannon Wallace, and all around good guy. I have a few funny things to tell you about Shannon. She's not here today, so it is all good.

First of all, the girl don't know how to match her clothes! She wouldn't know fashion if it bit her on the knee. Me, on the other hand, well, you know, I got a little sugar in my tank *wink* Just call me Diva Dwayne.

She ain't exactly dumb, but she's a little slow about some stuff. That old joke about takin' an hour to make Minute Rice? Yeah, that's Shannon.

I drive a way cool Mustang and I love me some chicken wings. Oh yes, I do, honey!

You can find more about me and Shan over at Http:// in that book old Kimmie wrote, Avenging Angel, A Shannon Wallace Mystery. (I still say it should have had my damn name on it, since I saved little missy's butt a few times)


Seeing the World Through Odessa's Eyes

One of my guests today arrived earlier from the old west. Odessa Clay is my heroine in my latest work in progress and western historical, and I've invited her here to visit with my modern-day heroine, Cassie Fremont to get a glimpse of the future. Odessa has already been watching some television, so I can't wait to see what questions she has. I'm going to sit on the sidelines while she and Cassie chat.

Cassie - "So Odessa. What do you think so far?"

Odessa - *Gazing around the room*. "This is very nice. Furnishings have certainly come a long way, haven't they."

Cassie - "I suppose they have, but I'm anxious to see what you thought of the news you watched on Fox TV."

Odessa - *scratches her head* "That TV is an amazing contraption, and I have to admit what I watched was all very confusing. Money wasn't plentiful in my day, but it looks as if your generation is in real trouble. But I really don't understand some of words I heard."

Cassie - "Like what?"

Odessa - "What's a stimulus package."

Cassie - "That's something the government thinks is going to keep us out of a depression despite the lack of oversight on their spending and the money they've lent to others. You see...a bunch of people who are totally clueless about how middle class America lives, get together and decide what things we should worry about. They plan to give us a little of our tax money back, but they want to dictate how we spend it. I'm not very literate when it comes to politics, so I'm probably not the best person to explain it."

Odessa - "I'm still confused."

Cassie - "Don't feel alone. I don't understand their thinking either. "For instance, they want to provide contraceptives to low-income families and put energy-efficient cars on the roads as part of their proposed 'package.' I'm not sure how that stimulates the economy."

Odessa - *brows knitted in confusion*. "What's a contraceptive? And an energy-efficient car?"

Cassie - "Oh, that's right, I forgot you don't know about such things. Contraceptives prevent a woman from having children she doesn't want. And cars...well, they're like the stage coach your arrived on, but without the horses. They operate on something called gasoline, and the government wants to build ones that use less of it."

Odessa - "mouth agape* - "How does giving women these contra...things help with money problems? And if you people are out of work, who'll buy these new, improved cars?"

Cassie - "Good question. As far a birth-control, I can't see how that's going to help unless women voluntarily participate. Children are what keep women on the welfare roles, so it's pretty doubtful they're going would you say it... cut off their nose to spite their face? By the way, welfare is money made available to those the government deems needy. And I agree...I could barely afford to buy gasoline a few months back, so I wonder how congress thinks most Americans can afford a new car.I pretty much think their first and only priority right now is how to save the remaining businesses and re-establish the ones we've lost. We have to get people back to work. Just yesterday, 72,000 American's lost their jobs, and rather than address his own people and offer assurances, our new president decided it was much more important to appear on TV and assure the Muslim nation we are really concerned with what they think about us. Personally, I was appalled at his timing."

Odessa - "What's a Muslim?"

Cassie - "Oh, let's not even go there. It would take me hours to explain religious differences, and I'm about as proficient in knowledge there as I am in politics.

Odessa - "Is there anything positive happening in the world right now?"

Cassie - "Let's just put you back in your stage coach and send you back to 1883. Trust me. I'm sure Ginger can whip up something much more desirable than the state of affairs here. And let's not mention we talked about politics. She promised to stay away from that topic during Bring a Character To Blog week."

More from the Unseelie lot...

Yesterday, Alfhild and Cadfael popped in for a blurb.  Today, it's Du, who's Cadfael's right hand, um, Sidhe.  To find Unseelie to download in pdf, mobipocket or other formats, visit this link.

Du: I'm really not as interesting as all that.  Sure, I'm dashing and handsome and quick with a blade and my wit but I'm not so special.

Who'm I kidding?  I'm a catch.  I've known Cadfael for centuries, growing up together amongst the Unseelie Court, living with the dark ones of the realm.  I was there when Maeve and Mabd first clashed.  I was there with my people when the Seelie Sidhe rode them down, killed them while they slept, ate, worked...  Cadfael kept me sane.  In return, I keep him out of most trouble.  Except this Alfhild situation.  You see, she was foretold. The Snow Queens knew it.  They told us, told the entire Court, and we've been waiting for her.  All except Cadfael.  He couldn't wait.  He had to go get her.  Typical prince, eh?  I did my best to slow him down but there's only so much a Cait Sidhe  can do--I'm strong and quick but I'm small.  Smaller than that lumbering Sidhe, anyway.  Even in my cat-form, I'm a force to be reckoned with.

Alfhild: Ego, much?

Du: Eavesdrop, much?

Alfhild: It's not eavesdropping when you're writing.  It's just being nosey.  Or, in my case, cautious.  

Du:  Too late for caution, isn't it?  Now that you're Alfhild and no longer Lorelei...

Alfhild: Don't remind me.

The first two commenters here will receive a free eARC of  Unseelie and a copy of the reader's guide to go with it!  

Getting What You Want

My creator is feeling a little uninspired today, so I’m going to jump in here for her and talk to you today. Frankly, I think she’s off somewhere swilling coffee and dreaming of her book hitting the best sellers’ list. That woman can sure down the coffee, let me tell you. I guess she needs it so she can keep pace with me. I must admit I don’t make it easy for her. Who am I? Well, I didn’t think I needed an introduction, but I’ll humor you just the same. My name is Dante. Ah, you’ve heard of me before, have you? I see my creator has done a good job of introducing me to you. Well, let’s begin, shall we?

I’ve been walking among your kind for many years, but don’t worry. I’m not going to bore you with the details of my existence. I’m here to talk about you. I only mention my longevity to underscore the wealth of my experience with your kind. I have observed you for a lifetime, taken stock of your mannerisms and characteristics, your dreams and desires, and the one thread that links you from generation to generation is your insatiable need to get what you want. Some of you have altruistic motives, some of you do not, some of you will succeed, others will not, but the drive to achieve is just as strong in one as it is in the other. It’s all rather amusing to watch, if you ask me. The way you push yourselves, motivate yourselves, will yourselves to the attainment of your dreams is all rather admirable. But what happens when you get there? What happens when you get what you want?

I often wonder as I watch you if you ever take that into consideration. So much of your energy is focused upon the journey from idea to achievement, the stops along the way, the roadblocks that you must circumvent before you arrive at your final destination. But do you think beyond that? What happens when you arrive there? Are you happy with the accommodations, or let down because they’re not what you expected?

Sometimes the best part of the journey is the trip itself, the people you meet along the way, the unexpected roadblocks that prolong the process. And before I start to wax poetic like my good friend Peter, I will leave it at that. Enjoy the trip as much as the destination and you are bound to lessen your disappointment. And remember, those roadblocks are checkpoints for you to reassess your goals and to ask yourself if this is really what you want, to test your commitment. They’re not there to stop you from achieving your goals. But then, you knew that, didn’t you?

So what are you waiting for? Go out and get what you want.

Written by Dante (with help from Margay Leah Justice), check out my debut in the book, Nora's Soul on and come back for more at You didn't think one book would be enough for me, did you?

Casting Call with Joely Sue Burkhart

When I begin a new project, I always have a "casting call" for my characters. Sometimes I know the actor/actress from a particular movie role; other times, I simply stumble across a photograph and know immediately that's who I'm looking for. A pretty face isn't enough to build an interesting character, though, and some characters prove more difficult than others. This is an interview I held with the hero of my current "Revision Xibalba" or "Revision Hell" project, a Maya Fantasy.

Gregar is a very popular character from my romantic fantasy trilogy beginning with The Rose of Shanhasson, published at Drollerie Press.

~ * ~
Dewayne “The Rock” Johnson sprawled in the chair beside my desk looking very bored.

“So, Mr. Rock.” I smiled nervously. Was that a bruise on his cheekbone? Gregar had been in a foul mood when I’d asked him to retrieve the hero for my next story. “You know the job I have for you. Maya shaman, jaguar shapeshifter. What do you want your name to be?”


I blinked. “Yeah, Mayan ruins will play a significant part in the story. But what name would you like? You know, something vaguely Mayan but pronounceable. Jaguar Claw or something, not Itzpapalotl.”

“What’s wrong with Ruin? I like Ruin.”

Okay, so this wasn’t going too well. “Maybe we should come back to your name. Why don’t you tell me about why you’re here. What’s your story goal?”

“You’ve got to be kidding me. I’m here because that idiot with the white knife told me he was going to skin me alive and feed me my own balls if I didn’t come with him.”

I shot a dark look at Gregar who parked his ass on the opposite corner of my desk.

“You said bring him.” The Blood shrugged, rolling the ivory rahke back and forth on his palm. “He was reluctant.”

“Did you at least fill him in on the basic story?”

“Brainy chick’s in trouble. She broke some taboo and I’m supposed to kill her.” The Rock yawned. “Chick falls in love with me. I save the day. Piece of cake.”

Groaning, I massaged my temples with both hands. “There’s a little more to the story than that. I need something really terrible in your past. What’s your greatest regret? Your fears?”

The Rock gave me that famous arched eyebrow. “I don’t have any fears. Hey, do I get a cool costume like the one I wore for The Scorpion King?”

The Scorpion King wasn’t Mayan,” I said very slowly and calmly. I would not scream. I wouldn’t. “You’re going to transform into a jaguar. Isn’t that cool? And you have tattoos. Lots of them. But I really need some details about your past.”


“If I know what you fear, then I can make the Dark Moment more--“ Painful? Terrifying? “Believable.”

“The Rock don’t fear nothing, lady.”

I could be reasonable. “Even Gregar fears something.”

The wretched Blood laughed beneath his breath, shaking his head.

Now I was really getting pissed at him. “I know everything, Gregar. Your darkest fears, your greatest secrets. Don’t mess with me.”


Shadows thickened about him, obscuring my vision. Goose bumps raced down my arms. “Stop it. I gave you that power, and I can take it away. Besides, you’d better cooperate or all that pleading you’ve done to get into Shannari’s bed will be for naught.”

He smirked. “You love me and you know it. Lady.”

The damned Blood was right.

“Hey, get your own story, bucko,” the Rock butted in. “So tell me more about Ruin.”

“Gregar has his own story, thank you very much, and that is *not* your name.” I took a deep breath. “I need *you* to tell me about Ruin. Dammit. Your character.”

“I like cars. That Mustang you’ve got parked out back isn’t bad, but I’d rather have a red one.”

“Sorry, that’s Conn’s car. Besides, you’ll be in a jungle.”

“How about a horse? The black one--“

“That one’s mine, bucko,” Gregar drawled. “If you can sit a horse without falling off, then I’ll eat my memsha.”

“I’ve done horses.”

Gregar laughed so hard he nearly fell off my desk.

The chagrined look on The Rock’s face made me laugh despite my frustration. Gregar always had that effect on people… when he wasn’t trying to kill them.

“Yeah, well, I’ve got a bigger knife than you.”

Ah, now that I could use. “Great. Big knife. Tattoos. What else can you tell me?”

“He’s done horses,” Gregar wheezed.

The Rock growled and started to stand.

“Gregar, why don’t you go practice for book two with Shannari. I’ll finish up with The Rock alone.”

Still laughing, the Blood hopped down and glided toward the door. “I don’t need practice, but I never refuse a chance to annoy her. Maybe she’ll challenge me again.”

With thick sable hair hanging nearly down to his knees and the short cloth about his hips revealing his muscular thighs, he made quite the picture. He knew it, too, pausing at the door to wink at me. “I don’t do horses, though.”

Even The Rock stared after him. “Damn.”

My mouth was rather dry. “Yeah. So what’s your character’s name again?”


This was going to be a very long night.
~ * ~
Thanks for having me, Ginger!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Who IS Esther May Morrow?

AE: Who is Esther May Morrow? Where did she come from? As we wait patiently outside the main entrance to Sotheby’s, on this particularly cold evening in London, those are the questions spreading virulently through the ranks of press and paparazzi. This is the most eagerly awaited high-class auction of the year, yet the event is shrouded in secrecy. Each of the more than one hundred bidders tonight has been hand-picked by Ms. Morrow—an unprecedented measure—and the many antiques on sale are equally eclectic.

This is Arthur Everest, reporting for Eternal Press on what may well be the most controversial night in the history of Sotheby’s. Unfortunately, no press are allowed inside. We’ll try and speak to a few of the guests as they arrive. Here’s one now. Mrs. Dorothy Buchan? Mrs. Buchan, you’re a regular at these high profile auctions. Can I ask you to shed some light on the mysterious catalogue of items you’ll be bidding on tonight?

DB: Out of my way, darling, before I bid you lights out. Awful tie, by the way.

AE: Any word on lot number sixty-two? Can you tell us what the Archangel is?

DB: Out of your league, darling. So far out of your league it isn’t funny. Actually...har-har-har...

AE: Thank you, Mrs. Buchan. And now we have, I’m told…yes, we have our first glimpse of the elusive Esther May Morrow. Slim, medium height, dressed in a red and white summer dress and a straw bonnet, she resembles a middle-aged Barbara Stanwyck. It’s hard to believe we know so little about her. She’s finding it difficult to see through all the flash photography. An elegant, I might say old-fashioned lady, very sure of herself. I imagine she’s received plenty of generous offers already for her antiques. And like I said, this is a highly unusual arrangement. No one knows for sure what many of these items actually are, only that they’re sought after by eminent collectors from around the world.

Ms. Morrow, Arthur Everest for Eternal Press. Why did you insist on personally vetting the applications for tonight’s auction?

EMM: I have my reasons, as have they, for being here. You’ll all find out before the night is over.
AE: Word has it that lot sixty-two, the Archangel, has the Ministry of Defence worried. What exactly is it?

EMM: It’s something that has been around for thousands of years. An ancient treasure.

AE: Care to elaborate?

EMM: Not at all.

AE: Thank you, Ms. Morrow. Good luck with the auction tonight.

EMM: Thank you, young man. I’ll be seeing you again, I’m sure.

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