Thursday, September 30, 2010

Last Day of September

As Musing Through September comes to an end and we move into Fall, I would like to thank all the talented authors from Muse It Up Publishing for participating in a month-long get acquainted theme.  I'm so excited to be part of Muse It Up Publishing and I can't stress enough the team spirit that lives and thrives among Lea Schizas and her "gang." 

Since my last guest was a 'no show'... reckon he's a busy guy, I decided to share with you my two latest covers and thank Delilah Stephans for her talent that makes my stories come alive.  The following two stories will be available in 2011.  Check the Muse website for more information.

A Wing and a Prayer Blurb:  
Callie Corwin has completed her training as a flight attendant and is on her maiden voyage—a trans-Atlantic flight from California to England.  Her already jangled nerves are further put to the test by the cowboy in seat 4C. His Montana sky-blue eyes seem to always be focused on her, and she finds him an easy distraction as she goes about her duties. 
But another passenger catches Callie’s attention, and not because of his startling good looks or friendly attitude. In her mind, the dark-complected man in seat 9D is the epitome of a terrorist, and she fears the plane may be hijacked—especially when she catches a glimpse of something she suspects might be a gun.  

The Forget-Me-Nots Blurb:
When Sarah Palmer’s mother passes away, she’s left feeling overwhelmed by the loss.  Unlike her married sister, Melinda, she’s never been away from home. Sarah desperately needs to find something to connect her with the parent she’s just lost and turns to ticking through the mahogany jewelry case on the dresser in Mom’s room.  What she finds not only connects her with her mom, but with something cherished from the deceased's past.

Be sure to stop by my new website where all my books are showcased. And don't forget to sign my guestbook.   I've very excited to show off my new-found creativity and I feel so much in control since I can update it at any time.  If there is a link you'd like me to add, just email me and let me know.  

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Welcome, David J. Normoyle

Off the Beaten Track

I'm alone, half way through a three day trek through Copper Canyon in Mexico,
but I ran out of water a day ago and I haven't seen anyone since I set out. My
thirty kilo backpack lies discarded as I follow a dry water-track downhill.

It's a strange place to begin a writing career but I had a number of adventures
while backpacking in Latin America and wanted to share them. Stephen King said
that he's terrible at telling stories in person which is why he has to write
them down. I'm the same, as anyone knows who has asked me about an extended
backpacking trip only to find out it was grand or something similarly
monosyllabic. So wrote long stories about my adventures and emailed them back to
friends and family. I enjoyed it, and when I returned I began to write a novel
and study the art and craft of writing.

Twenty minutes since I dumped my possessions, I hear a trickle of water. It
flows above ground and pools in a small basin before disappearing again. Wasps
buzz protectively above it. I fill my water-bottle, add a purification tablet
and wonder if I can remember where I left my backpack.

My first novel Crimson Dream a Young Adult Fantasy, is released in February. Check out my website for further details or follow my facebook: 

Haunted by a dream of his beloved sister's death, an asthmatic seer leads his
people against a long forgotten enemy.

Icy wind greeted them when they reached the pass. He felt a surge of excitement.
Mythica was divided by these hills into Westerdell and Fairdell, and he'd never
been to Fairdell before. He'd have to wait; Bennie hadn't yet caught up. He and
Tenu saw her behind them. Tenu decided to wait at the pass for her.

They turned to watch her bound up the slope. Tenu gave a grim smile. "Like a
young pup with too much energy and hasn’t learned the value of it."

Loose pebbles crunched as she approached. Deren lifted his arm to wave
encouragement only to find he couldn't move. His limbs held fast as if the air
solidified around him.
With mounting horror, he saw a flash of red cloth behind Bennie. It coalesced
into a figure, a man in a crimson uniform. On the right breast of the uniform
was a golden circle with spikes emerging in all directions. The figure seemed
too bright and too large, filling the whole of Deren’s vision. The man was upon
Bennie; she didn't react. She was still smiling. Deren tried to shout, his mouth
opened, but no sound came out. The man’s right arm was outstretched, muscles
tensed. Aghast, Deren watched his arm swing, and a long blue flame cut through
the air, arcing toward his sister’s unprotected neck. A scream rent the air as
the whole world turned scarlet and then black.

Deren slumped against the donkey as the air released him. Shock and loss jolted
through him.

"What happened, boy, what did you see?" Tenu's voice seemed to come from a long

Then another voice spoke. "Deren. Deren are you okay?" It was a female voice
sounding worried and breathless. It couldn’t be. Deren raised his head to find
Bennie putting her hand on his shoulder.

"Are you okay?" she said. "This wasn’t one of your attacks, was it?"

"You were attacked," Deren said.

"Me?" Bennie looked confused. Deren's brain began to work again. Nothing had
happened; he imagined it all.

"No. Not a breathing attack." He shook himself. "Sorry, it was just a dream."
Some dream, he thought. "A nightmare."

"Eli be praised." Bennie’s smile returned. It was never far away. "It was
strange, you were smiling, and then you went still and pale. Your breathing was
normal, but your eyes went...weird. What did you see in your nightmare? Your
mouth opened, and your eyes bulged. You screamed and slouched over."
So he heard his own scream. He was afraid to ask what else was real.

"How was it a dream if you were awake?" she asked with a puzzled look. "What did
you see?"

Tenu snorted in disgust. "Nothing would surprise me about that boy, screaming
like a girl over some daydream."
He picked up the lead rope and started down the valley. The donkey followed,
carrying Deren.

Bennie walked alongside. "I love dreams. Lately I've dreamed of running through
the woods unseen. Of sunbeams that dance as they approach me. Princes rescue me
even though I don't need it. Perhaps, I need more interesting dreams."

To Deren, those sounded as interesting as dreams should get. "You wouldn't want
a daydream like this. Trust me on that."

Deren couldn't remember his latest dreams or nightmares too well, but he did
know crimson-uniformed soldiers appeared in them. And now he saw one while
awake. What was wrong with him?
The rocky trail through the pass opened up into the valley of Fairdell. The
valley didn't look much different from Westerdell. It was smaller with no
grasslands, just a large forest, broken by two lakes. Vegetation crept up the
sides of the mountains until the greenery became a rocky purple and then white
snow and grey clouds. In places it was hard to tell where the snow ended and the
clouds began.

Those tall mountains circling Mythica were one of the reasons his dream was
ridiculous. They were the impassable walls of their land. No one entered or left
Mythica. It was said the air at the top of the peaks was poisonous, and the cold
turned flesh blue until it withered and died.

There were no soldiers in Mythica.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Welcome, Janie Franz

Ginger, I’m very happy to meet your readers here and let them know a little bit about myself. I’m Janie Franz, and I come from a long line of liars and storytellers. I had an uncle who couldn't read or write, but the man could spin a yarn. When we'd go visiting when I was a child, the women would be in the kitchen, talking about who had affairs with who and showing each other their operation scars. I found that to be so boring and really depressing. The women were so solemn. I'd always slip into the living room where the men were and sit  behind my uncle's big chair and listen to his stories about fishing and hunting and mountain “haints.” His stories were funny and full of mountain expressions---and the men laughed so hard! And they weren't sharing around any moonshine either!

Though I began writing short fiction as a child, I never aspired to have anything in print until I took a creative writing course in high school and my teacher wanted us all to get something published before the school year ended.  I was the person who was supposed to be specializing in fiction, but the first piece I sold was an essay. Later, I sold a couple of poems. Perhaps it was a portent of things to come.

When we moved to North Dakota, I thought I’d become a stay-at-home wife and write. Well, children came and that writing dream was put aside. When my children were small, I sent out a story or two, but no acceptances. I did receive a couple of handwritten rejections and once got a second read from Redbook. Those stories went into a drawer.

Then in 2000, I started a full-time freelance writing business, handling all manner of magazine and newspaper articles as well as special projects such as chapters in medical encyclopedias and in organic gardening books. Sometimes, I’d take on an editing job such as preparing a dissertation or an academic article for publication. I even co-wrote two how-to wedding books with Texas wedding DJ Bill Cox.

As I built my freelance writing business, I couldn’t take time for fiction because I needed to make money and I also knew just how consuming writing fiction could be. As my business became stable, I thought that I might make some time again for it.

Last year, at the Muse Online Writers Conference, Lea Schizas, who runs the conference, asked for attendees to send in book pitches. I had a couple of novels in a drawer that I was just beginning to do some substantive editing for and I had some short fiction. I didn’t have any longer work polished to the point that I could pitch it. After the deadline for pitches came and went, Lea asked us to see if we could help fill in the few openings she had. I looked at the publishers’ guidelines again. I wanted to help Lea out so that she would be able to offer pitches again at the next conference. There were a few of the publishers that took shorter works so I sent in two and got a slot for each of my pitches. 

The second pitch was for Breathless Press, and they asked me to send my work to them. That was The Bowdancer, which was a novelette at the time. They liked it, sent me a contract, and the work grew into a novella through the editing process. 

I like to think that an act of kindness got me published. 

Today I have two books published in The Bowdancer Saga with Breathless Press and a third, Warrior Woman, coming out in November.

When Lea Schizas started Muse It Up Publishing, I sent her a few of the books I had finally polished. I currently have three books currently under contract with Muse It Up. One is in their mainstream division, Muse It Up, and two others are in their Muse It Hot! division.

Ruins: Discovery will be the first book I’ll have with Muse It Hot! and it will be released April 1, 2011. Part of a trilogy, it follows the adventures of anthropology grad student Kate Ferguson, who studying the connections between Aztec/Mayans and native cultures in Arizona when she meets architect Paul Rodriguez. Embracing ties with the Hispanic culture and a maverick native group that is supposed to be older than other Arizona peoples, Paul is haunted by more than trying to reconcile his mixed heritage. He has deserted his position as shaman and leader of his people because of the group’s use of blood sacrifice. Kate has her own secrets. One is her gift of psychometry (being able to read psychic impressions left in objects) and the fact that she’s still a virgin. As Paul’s enemies draw nearer, Kate becomes embroiled in a power struggle between Paul and his twin sister Mala for the leadership of his people. Kate must learn to trust Paul, not only with her body, but with her very life. Can she really do that?

Two other volumes, Ruins: Artifacts and Ruins: Legacy, are waiting approval.

In addition, Sugar Magnolia, a contemporary romance about the music industry will be out in July, and The Premier, another contemporary romance about Hollywood will be out in November 2011.

I also have a few other ideas for a paranormal mystery series, a sci-fi timewarp novel, and a YA book. Oh, and please do stop by my website.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Welcome, Heather Haven

Not That I Write Literature

            “Not that I write literature” was a phrase uttered by a well-known author at the book signing I attended for his recently released book, Perfect Alibi. Sheldon Siegel is an established, New York Times best selling author. More importantly, he writes books that are beautifully crafted, with flawed, well-rounded characters, intricate plots, easy, clear dialogue and superb pacing. In short, Mr. Siegel is a writer of such that he gives credit to the writing profession. His sincere, self-deprecating comment surprised me.
Webster Dictionary describes the word literature as “creative writing of recognized artistic value.” Hello there, Mr. Siegel.
Possibly all fine writers have the element of self-doubt as this author, the need to perfect their craft in each succeeding book, the looking back on preceding books as slightly lacking.
It made me wonder. Did Fitzgerald ever say at any of his book signings, it’s just a love story about a girl named Daisy? Could Hemmingway have said, what’s the fuss? I only wrote about an old guy and a fish?  Did James Joyce ever comment that he was merely writing about Dublin society? It’s very possible.
Mr. Siegel’s proclamation could have been made because he writes genre, i.e. mystery. There is often a stigma attached to the writing of genre, something that often tells the author, if only in self-inflicted whispers, that his or her work is slightly less.
I sincerely hope this is not the case. For if the job of a book is to entertain, enlighten, or expand the experience of the reader -- and that’s what writers are taught to aim for in every writing workshop I’ve attended -- Mr. Siegel’s books deliver all three.
His latest novel, Perfect Alibi, is a compelling read. It deals with the human condition, imperfect relationships and the desire to make the world a better place. And, oh yes, it is a mystery.  In my humble opinion, it is also literature.
The lesson I took away from this experience was to continue to strive for the quality of writing and depth of humility given to Sheldon Siegel.  And, Mr. Siegel, thank you for a great read.

Just because a man cheats on his wife and makes Danny DeVito look tall, dark and handsome, is that any reason to kill him? The reluctant and quirky PI, Lee Alvarez, doesn't think so. The 34-year old ½ Latina, ½ WASP and 100% detective has her work cut out for her when the man is murdered on her watch.  Of all the nerve.

Set in the present, Murder is a Family Business is the first in a series of humorous mysteries revolving around Lee Alvarez, a combination of Sue Grafton’s Kinsey Millhone and Janet Evanovitch’ Stephanie Plum, and  the rest of Alvarez Family, detectives all. Completing the family is Lee’s Never-Had-A-Bad-Hair-Day aristocratic mother, Lila; computer genius brother, Richard; beloved uncle “Tio;” and her energetic orange and white cat, Tugger. When this group is not solving murders, they run Discretionary Inquiries, a successful Silicon Valley agency that normally deals with the theft of computer software. Seemingly light and frothy on the surface, the novel nevertheless explores familial love, the good, the bad and the annoying.

Book: Murder is a Family Business
Heather Haven
Humorous Murder Mystery

Cover: Delilah K. Stephans

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Welcome, Mary Andrews

Ginger, I love what you’ve done with your blog site. There’s some mighty fine reading on these pages. Thank you for inviting me to post.

Hi, my name is Mary Andrews. I’m the author of The Fireborn Chronicles, a Sci Fi series which first saw the light of day because of our fearless leader, Lea Schizas.

I think I first heard of the first Muse Online Writer’s Conference from a crossover post on the Write Right Critique Group list all those years ago. It sounded great and to my delight, it met my primary criteria for attendance—it was free. So I scurried over, signed up and went crazy pouring through page after page of unbelievable writing classes until I’d whittled them down to a mere thirty hours worth of learning and live lectures tightly crammed into a barely doable schedule.

Since I hadn’t looked into the book market since the 1980’s I knew a few things had to have changed. Things like the existence of the internet, for example. It was a brave new world out there and I had a lot of relearning to do. I had no website, no blog, no concept of online marketing or anything. In fact, the first Muse conference was the first time I’d ever even ventured to use a chat room. The whole situation was overwhelmingly new to me but there was such an amazing wealth of information being given freely by professionals and accessible even through my meager internet dial up services.

My first book, The Fireborn Chronicles, was one last rewrite short of completion. I’d spent ten years, off and on, writing and refining it. I must’ve totally rewritten my first chapter at least 4 times and that wasn’t counting the never ending tweaking. So, still not fully satisfied with it, I decided to try to get a professional opinion.

Imagine how excited I was when I discovered that Dindy Robinson, head of Swimming Kangaroo Press, was offering to critique the first 5-10 pages of a WIP (work in progress) for her workshop. Since my game plan for this conference had only been to acquaint myself with the current market, I only saw this as a great way to open future contacts and see how my work stacked up in the field.

For a solid week I attended back to back lectures and classes. My poor husband fed and watered me and taped television shows we usually watched so we could do so together afterwards. I’ll tell you, it was a furious schedule but by the end of that week I realized how much I was really capable of accomplishing.

My strategy had not been to make any kind of presence, but to quietly listen and learn. I signed up for every/any class taught by publishers or editors. I wanted to know what they were looking for—not as individuals, but on the whole. My God, I learned a lot that week and during the weeks after, Lea’s Yahoo conference group continued sharing information on everything. (That’s where I discovered how to set up a website, a blog, all kinds of things.)

But the biggest surprise of all was when Dindy, not only liked my ten page submittal to her class, but asked to see the whole manuscript—even though I had told her I still had one more rewrite to do.

Despite all I had learned, I was still dumb as a rock though. When Dindy, the head of a publishing company, asked to see my manuscript, I was flattered but didn’t recognize it as a solicited submittal. I just thought she wanted to look at it. It wasn’t until she told me her people would get back to me within four weeks, I think, that my feeble brain realized what had happened.

Swimming Kangaroo published The Fireborn Chronicles (book I) and contracted for book II as well but eventually they got sideswiped by the economy and returned my contract for book II. As things worked out, when Lea announced she was opening up a publishing house, I had finally figured out how to write a synopsis and book summary, so there I was with a ready-to-go manuscript.

I was ecstatic. For years I’ve stood in awe of this human dynamo. Her organization, connections, ethics, talent.... I could go on forever. Suffice it to say that I signed on with MuseItUp Publishing for both The Fireborn Chronicles: Resonances and book III mainly because I wanted to work with Lea.

And boy-howdy has she put us to work. She’s provided us with so many promo ops that she actually had to tell us to pace ourselves so as to not stop writing in the process.

Thing about being a writer is: you’ll never know everything, you’ll never see everything, and you’ll never stop working, one way or another. So it’s really great to be part of a writing family like MuseItUp Publishing.

Now the blurb:
Chapter One

“Get away from that door!” Lord Deshon’s dark voice rumbled after Alandra.
With every step, she fought his smothering presence, felt her life force being ripped away, her senses seared. He engulfed her.

Heart pounding, Alandra threw the hatch open and dove out into the freezing sky. “I’ll die first,she shot back into his mind.

Eyes clenched against the wind’s frigid blast, she held her breath to stave off the terror until Deshon’s corrosive assault evaporated and her senses reawakened.

Alandra floated, high above everything, slipping gravity’s bonds for one glorious moment before beginning her descent; she swam through cold currents of air, allowing herself to fully experience the caress of the wind on her face...through her hair...along her body. It was intoxicating.

As the deafening grumble of Deshon’s airship receded, she opened her eyes to the blue sky, white capped mountains, the blur of landscape rushing ever closer, rocks jutting dangerously from crystal-blue water, the impending impact growing closer and closer and….

* * * *

Tristen bolted upright from the dream, her racing heart throbbing. “What was that?”

Her husband drew her into his arms and held her tight.

She felt his fear subside, taking hers with it.

Ira Haze relaxed his grip, and smoothed her long, tangled, black hair. “I’m sorry. It was my dream. It felt so real you must’ve picked up on it.” He gave her another, gentle hug. “That was my sister, Alandra. We haven’t talked since Rael set her up with PSI Ops—maybe five years ago.”

Tristen nestled comfortably into him. “The one who could not handle the Overlord’s presence when he compu-linked?”

Ira frowned and spoke aloud as if to distance her. “Why must you call him that? Only the Archangels call him Overlord.”

Tristen pulled away enough to force him to look into her sightless sea-green eyes. “He is known across the universe as The Corporate Overlord, but he will always be my master and your commander no matter what we call him.” She steeled herself against his frustration as it washed across her. “Why are you dreaming of your sister?”

“Something is wrong.” He gently pushed his wife to the other side of the bed. “I need to find her.”

“Now? You do not want to link to the Overlo...uhh Rael? I could connect us from here...”

“No. Just let me do this, and don’t follow me.” He closed his eyes, slowed his breathing, and visualized his sister: her flowing black hair—as long as his own with the same raven luster—her blue eyes, the way she smiled, the softness of her thoughts. As her image solidified, he shifted his sight. Her form coalesced into a silvery, flowing pattern, alive with the warmth and rhythm of electronic motion. This was her appearance in the ethereal universe.

Ira absorbed its feel, inhaling its tempo until his own form began to resonate and slowly match it. Having donned his sister’s pattern, he called out across the ethereal plane in her ‘voice’ and waited until he felt the inevitable draw of like-unto-like. Ira surrendered himself and careened toward it without hesitation until, overtaking it, he allowed his forged engram to overlap hers and fuse.

* * * *

He opens his eyes to nothing: No sounds, no visuals—only darkness.

* * * *
End of excerpt

The Fireborn Chronicles: Resonances (book II of the series)
will be released in eBook format on November 1, 2010 by MuseItUp Publishing.

Or check my website:

Friday, September 24, 2010

Welcome, Frank Scully

Ginger, I want to thank you for the opportunity to come on your blog and speak about my journey to publication and how it felt to get a contract with Muse It Up.

My road to publication has been long and full of torturous twists and turns.  I started writing almost twenty years ago and my first attempts to land an agent were amateurish.  Back in those bad old days there were scam artists preying on wannabe authors and the internet wasn’t yet up and running.  You had to find addresses to the agents the old fashioned way, through books in the library or yellow pages or from other authors.  Snail mail was the only way to contact agents or publishers.  Word processors were, by today’s standards, little more than typewriters with some memory.

I received some encouraging words on my first writing attempts from some reputable agents but none would actually represent me.  Scam artists came out of the woodwork with all sorts of promises about how they could get it published and it would only cost me half a gazillion dollars.  I can say I never fell for any of those.  That isn’t to say that some of the smarter scam artists didn’t tempt me, but I managed to stay away from them.  I did, however, sign with a couple agents over the years who, although not scam artists asking for money, were not successful at actually selling a book to a publisher very often.

Through it all I kept writing, and writing, and writing.  And always trying to find an agent and at times going directly to publishers.  Always got words of praise for my writing but never got a major agent to represent me or a publisher to contract my book.

Then I did.  Three years ago I landed a contract with a start up publisher and things were looking up.  However, just a few months before publication the publisher had to go out of business.

Back on the street again.  Through all these years I have also been busy with a career and raising a family.  Just trying to stay ahead of the game.  I wrote another book and went back to trying to find an agent or a publisher again.  This time I must admit my efforts were a bit desultory.

Then I noticed something come along from one of the other writers that had been involved with the publisher that went out of business.  News of another publisher just starting up.  I recognized the name and decided to send an email to congratulate Lea and wish her well.  I also threatened to send in a query.  She wrote back inviting me to submit.  I did and the acceptance came back very quickly.  I must admit that the feeling is indescribable.  Here I am now with five books under contract.  Lea is a remarkable person and publisher.

The publishing world is much different now than it was when I first starting writing and seeking publication.  Now the future is in e-books and I am pleased to be a part of it.

For more information on books by Frank Scully, check out his Muse Author's Page.  

 Coming in January 2011

Coming in June 2011, with more to follow.


Thursday, September 23, 2010

Welcome, Krista D. Ball

I'm a Canadian author, currently living in Alberta, though I'm originally from Newfoundland (pronounced Newf-in-land, not New-found-lund). I've done lots of different writing, including various short stories, freelancing for a local magazine, and I co-edited 4 Karma RPG books. I'm also a slush reader for a Canadian publisher and did an internship last year where I slush read for a speculative fiction magazine (amongst other jobs).

I have two upcoming releases with MuseItUp Publishing - Harvest Moon (Oct 1) and Flying Kite, Crashing Ship (Mar, 2011). Plus, I have a self-published short story that is already released on Smashwords titled, The Amazing Transformation of Wicca Dog.

I'm a practical person. I don't read books with deep meanings, nor do I watch movies like that. I like to be entertained, where I can pretend to be someone else for a few hours. My writing reflects that. I don't write for a greater meaning and I certainly don't write to teach a moral lesson.

My writing is meant to help people forget their problems for a few hours and pretend they are someone else. I write two extremes: dark and light. I've been told that I do dark fiction well. However, I can only write so many depressing scenes before I want to pick up the bottle and run screaming through the streets. To cope, I also write crazy, light-hearted stories. My current story, Wicca Dog, is a good example of that craziness.

Wicca Dog was inspired by a visit to a local pagan store. The owners have a black and white border collie named Fred who hangs out at the store. (He stole part of my lunch, but I'll forgive him). I didn't know his name so I dubbed him "wicca dog." Well, that obviously required a short story. And, there we have it, a werewolf-border collie story.

To check The Amazing Transformation of Wicca Dog, visit Smashwords ( ). My First Nations-inspired novelette, Harvest Moon, was released by MuseItUp Publishing last week (ahead of schedule!), so I’m scrambling to fix all of the links on my website! Buy link for Harvest Moon -

One thing that I enjoy doing is turning stereotypes and clichés upside down. I’m tired of the same ol’ man saves a damsel in distress. In Harvest Moon, the damsel in distress, Dancing Cat, gets turned into a man. The male hero, Bearclaw, is bisexual, just for a twist instead of the usual ultra-heterosexual hero. I’m tired of the clichés. So, I let my twisted mind loose on them. It’s a lot more fun.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

No Show Guest - So It's My Turn

SPAM! I hate it, yet like everyone else, I’m forced to endure it.  And I'm not talking about the kind that comes in a can...although I'm not overly fond of fake ham either.

The problem is I have to weed through junk to find messages from friends and associates that have a meaning for me. My mail server insists on sending random posts to either my SPAM or Trash folder. Just this morning I found a very important contract that might have cost me a substantial amount of money had I not noticed it. maybe I stretched the truth a little.  Substantial seems a little much...but I could have lost a future Happy Meal from McDonalds. 

Scanning 600 plus emails is not fun. I’m amazed at the array of ridiculous promises in the subject lines alone. Several people have posted, promising to ‘cleanse my colon.’ Thanks, but been there, done that, and in my opinion, the condition of my colon is between me and my doctor and not up for debate. Anytime you see colon and cleanse together in a sentence…run! Think of: time/bomb, blow/up, fire/works.

Look! I can get financial aid and earn my online degree (and at this age) and erase all my debts, too. Let’s not forget I can ‘get money overnight’, ‘free smokes’ and my ‘TRUE LOVE AWAITS’. I hope my husband doesn’t find out. Heck, I didn’t even know.

Let’s see, I can ‘attend culinary school’ and ‘become a great chef.’ Or, I can ‘save money on a new SUV.’ Wait, there’s an offer to ‘save $$$ at the gas pump.’ Hmmm, seems like if I take advantage of both of those offers, I’m defeating an important purpose. Gas guzzlers or saving gas! Decisions, decisions. The chef thing is definitely out. I hate to cook.

Swell! I can ‘order on-line drugs’ to help lose weight, but then that conflicts with the post telling me ‘men love full-figured women.’ Yeah, right. Probably the same ones who’re looking for people with weight problems. OH, and definitely I can’t overlook the one thousand emails from South Africa, London, and Nigeria asking for my bank information so I can ‘claim that exclusive lottery money’ that’s in my name alone. With all that cash, I can reel in a man without losing weight.

Gee, I can hardly contain my glee. I’ve been awarded a ‘free gift card’ to shop at Costco, Walmart, Target and Kohls. Like I’m falling for that. I didn’t tumble off a turnip truck yesterday. It was last month and the knot on my head is almost healed.

Hey…a ‘free poker pass’! That’ll come in handy if I take that drug for restless leg syndrome and develop the gambling addiction they warn about in their commercials. Oh, great, there are fifteen more ‘Detoxify Your Body’ posts. I’m pretty sure it’s the ‘Colon Cleanse’ ad disguising itself for those faint at heart people like me.

I guess SPAM is something we’re going to have to live with. It used to come stuffed inside your bills via the US Postal Service, but now that many are doing everything online, advertisers had to find a way to continue to annoy us. It’s working on me, how about you? I guess laughter is the best way to deal with it. It’s the best medicine you know, regardless of what they tell you

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Welcome, Arlene Webb & Her Characters

Picture my head in the clouds. I slap out floral arrangements and work around customers to write. My mom has an anemia bone cancer (doing well after treatment, thanks), and my loving parents put the last of six florist shops in my name including all the paperwork (their excuse, her vision isn’t what it should be), so as of June I’m not just a slave, but an owner also. Ashes’ release is scheduled for May, the worst month of the year for a florist, but priorities. I clearly know the Logan twins come before anything.

My life is as mundane as grey parchment. My family thinks I’m deficient, my son has to have a few beers to dummy himself down before he explains how to set up a word sheet in excel to do sales tax, blah blah. 

I can’t say enough nice things about the publishers who’ve opened their doors to me.

Did I mention that Ashes comes out in ten months, 300 days, 7,200 hours, 43,2000 minutes?

Here's a sample:

Lyle Logan: “Why? Give me one reason I should believe this crap? I think, therefore I am. I don’t need some frickin’ deity to tell me—”

Arlene: “Yes, you do. Without me, you can’t form words. And, son, you will watch your mouth on this blog. Understand?”

Lyle: “No. I don’t understand a god@#$% thing. Because you’re bored, the sweetest guy on—where the @#$% am I? Cyberspace? Right. Anyway, my twin suffers a horrible death and it’s my fault?” 

Sigh. “I’m not infallible.”

Lyle: “Just a self righteous, under worked florist who makes me hold the knife to the sacrificial goat.”

Arlene. “Idiot. Myles is a lamb, not a goat and if you’d called his lover, the cop still wouldn’t have been able to save either of you. Sorry.”

Lyle: “Screw you. Bring on hell. It’d have to beat listening to you.”

Arlene: “Myles, you there? Talk to your brother, will you?”

Myles: “Yes, God. What should I say?”

Lyle: “Hey, MyMy? Whaddya get when you cross a wimp with a puss?”

Myles: “I’m not a wuss, am I, God? But I am dead, right? Not a zombie who’s gonna eat Ren’s brains out.”

Sigh. “How many times does Lyle have to explain? No vamps, no zombies, you’re a sweetheart without a backbone. If I ask you to say no to the next predator who wants to jump you when Lyle’s not around to terrify them, can you do it?”

Myles: “Yes.”

Arlene: “A bisexual slut will remain true to one man?”

Myles: “Yes. I love Ren.”

Arlene: “You’re painting in the park. A lonely  cougar eyes you. She asks you to carry her bags, walk her home, come in and step into her bedroom, what will you say?”

Myles “Yes. Right? I mean, I’m strong and I like helping people. Can I ask you something?”

Lyle: “Give it up, God. He doesn’t have a safe word. Only one way to save him, leave me and mine alone. Stay the @#$% out of our business. Don’t you have flowers to sell? Paperwork to do? Other bastards to torment?”

Sigh. “Myles, you didn’t answer. Can you say no?”

Myles: “Yes.”

Sigh. “What’d you want to ask me, son?”

Myles: “Why vanilla? Can my favorite flavor be hard spicy mango, thick sweet pistachio, a threesome with chocolate and strawberry, so many lovely things. And, am I seriously D-E-A-D? Murdered in Vegas? Where—exactly—am I? Lyle can’t die too, but he also won’t leave me, right? It’s fact. We’re binary. Can’t be separated—or, I’d die. Where’s Ren? Am I a bad man? Why does Lyle think….”


Ashes. May 2010. MuseitHot

You’d find me on my website if my loving elder sister would either give me my domain name that she got for me 3-4 years ago and stop insisting I’m not capable of establishing a website, or she’d just get it done.

Yippee, I have a blog with links to tweet, FB, Goodreads, etc.

Thank you, Ginger, for having the twins and me on your blog.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Welcome, Kay Dee Royal

Hello Ginger and everyone. I’m nervous and excited to talk about what’s happening in my life as an upcoming author for Muse It Up Publishing / Muse It Hot!

I left the corporate world to follow a dream ten years ago. Much has happened since then.

My first interest in fiction was writing for Young Adults, under another name. After writing three YA books, all still works in progress, I dipped my toes into the romance genre, more specifically paranormal erotica.

Besides reading YA fiction, I’m an avid reader of paranormal erotica and find it fun, new, and exciting to write.

In my writing journey, I’d joined a number of face-to-face and on-line writing critique groups. Big Kids Muse group is where I met Lea Schizas. She has an awesome Muse Online Writer’s Conference  in October which I’ve attended for the past four years. I highly recommend it to any aspiring or accomplished writer.

When Lea opened submissions for her upcoming Muse It Up Publishing / Muse It Hot! online book and e-book store, I submitted Big Girls Don’t Cry Wolf.

After a tragic loss of her twin sister, Brea works hard to prove herself worthy of her adoptive parent’s extra attention. She focuses on the success of the rustic resort her parents deeded to her.

Priorities change when sexy twin wolves in human form walk into Brea’s life.
A dangerous rogue abducts her, but whom, if anyone comes to her rescue?

Lea accepted my manuscript, now scheduled for release on March 1, 2011.
It’s been a whirlwind of writing activity for me ever since, with edits, creating a blog, and marketing. The online groups offered to authors as part of ‘Muse It Up Publishing’ – and – share knowledge, encouragement, and wisdom, everything a writer needs to help their writing flow at a steady pace. It’s hard to express how grateful I am to have found a place among such great authors.

I have an author page on the Muse It Hot! site where you can read more about my book.

Another short erotica novel I wrote, Alone On the Beach, was originally scheduled to be released on June 1, 2010 through Last Stand Productions. This novel is patiently waiting for its day in the sun…or rather, for their e-store to open, date pending.

My great admission in life is that I’m a sponge, always learning and growing along the way. It fascinates me, the multitude of ways to bring characters together, sparking relationships that blaze across the pages. I can only hope I do those characters justice.

Please visit me anytime at:

Ginger, I thank you for the invitation to guest on your blog. I’ve had a wonderful time.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Welcome, Pat Dale

Before I share a little about my book, I want to tell you a bit about me. Born and raised in southeast Missouri, I’ve been able to travel a good part of the world. I spent the better part of a year in Japan and loved it. Fairbanks, Alaska was home for a few months and I loved it there as well.

I’ve been to most of the American states and have yet to find one that hasn’t intrigued me. Where do I get my inspiration? From the folks, regardless of their color or ethnicity, who inhabit the earth. Truth is indeed stranger than fiction; but it does lead to some very juicy stories, some poignant ones, and not a few that will leave you in tears. My fictional characters are all developed from a collage, isolated features of real people I’ve known or observed, but none of them are real in toto.

Over the years, I’ve made it a point to catalog personalities and the decisions individuals make in their daily lives. Because I chose to wait until I’d experienced much of what life has to offer, I had time to fill my cranium with an abundance of characters. Oddly enough I seem to resemble at least some of them. LOL Am I the character, or the mirror image of the character…

My mid-life romance, SLEEPING WITH HER ENEMY, will be released by MuseItUp Publishing in April, 2011. Ana Henry, my protagonist, is a forty year old nurse who’d lost her husband in war and her son has been struck and killed by a hit and run driver. She questions whether life is worth living, but her energy is rekindled when she meets Dan Morrison by way of his daughter, Sherry, when he brings the sick girl to the hospital where Ana works in the children’s ward.

They bond instantly and Ana is drawn more and more into Morrison family affairs. She and Sherry hit it off and life turns rosy. Then Ana learns that Dan has a car he no longer drives, identical to the one that had killed Joey. When she examines the car and finds damage to the headlight, hood, and windshield, the blood spattered over the car is too much to ignore. She has no choice but to turn Dan in and hope he has a good excuse. Things get worse before they get better, but you’ll have to read the book to see whether Ana is able to enjoy a new life with Dan and Sherry. ‘Sleeping’ is the seventh of twelve novels I’ve written over the last decade.

My romantic family saga, DANCING WITH THE DEVIL, will be released by Muse in July 2011, and my middle grade flight of fancy, ZACH’S AMAZING DREAM MACHINE, will be out next September. I have a romantic suspense novel, A GIRL’S BEST FRIEND, available now in paperback from Whimsical Publications, three romantic comedies, FOR THE LOVE OF HATTIE, GOLDIE’S BEAR, and DON’T BET ON IT, available as e-books from Red Rose Publications, and another romantic suspense, A PERFECT STRANGER, due out from Awe-Struck Publications in the near future.

If you’d like to know more about me or my writing, log onto: or my blog:

Thanks, Ginger for inviting me to drop by and visit with you guys!

Below is an excerpt from SLEEPING WITH HER ENEMY

The girl was sitting up, propped by pillows when they stepped into the room. “Hi, Daddy.” She gave him a big smile before turning her eyes questioningly at Ana.
He said, “Hi, sweetheart. How are you feeling?”
“Better. I got pretty sick today but I’m okay now.”
“That’s good, honey. Do you remember Ana?”
She smiled. “Yes, Daddy. It’s my tummy that’s sick, not my head.”
Ana got the embarrassed daddy off the hook, saying, “I’m glad you’re feeling better, Sherry. Did you miss us?”
“I think I was too dizzy to miss much of anything.”
Dan said, “I went over to Ana’s for coffee while they helped you. She has a puppy you’ve got to see.”
“A puppy?” She turned quizzical eyes on Ana. “You have a dog?”
“I do. Her name is Molly and she’s a German Shorthair.”
“Do they get big?”
“Not too big. She weighs about twenty pounds right now but they said she’ll be about forty to fifty full-grown. And she’s really smart, too.”
“Wow. Wish I had a dog, smart or dumb.” Her eyes fixed accusingly on her father. “But I guess we can’t have pets in our house.”
“Oh, yes we can,” he said. “I’ve been thinking about it, sweetheart, and there’s no reason you can’t have a puppy if you want one.”
That brought her to life. Eyes bright and shining, she asked, “Really?”
“Really. I like dogs too, honey. And we’re going to be making some changes at home. I think we need that.”
Sherry turned serious. “Daddy, will I be out of here in time to go to the swim meet this weekend?”
He glanced at Ana, who was shaking her head. “I don’t think so, baby. The doctor wants you to get over this before you get back into the water.”
“But I am over it. Almost. I feel great now.”
Ana watched the struggle of wills between father and daughter, wondering how much the girl had gotten away with over the past couple of years. She remembered her experiences with Joey. Kids seemed to have some kind of surveillance radar that let them know when their parents were vulnerable.
He stroked Sherry’s face with his hand and brushed her hair back. “Honey, I know how much your swimming means to you. As soon as you’re over your infection, you’ll be able to get back in there and swim like a fish.”
“Dad-dy? Ask Dr. Harris. Please?”
He looked helplessly at Ana. “I don’t need to do that, Sherry. I-”
“Did I hear someone wanting to ask me something?” The doctor had just stepped into the room.
Dan said, “Sherry wants to swim with the team this weekend.”
“No way, Sherry. You have a serious infection. We’ll have you up and home by the end of the week but I can’t let you go into a swimming pool for at least two weeks.”
“Ohh! I don’t feel sick anymore.”
“You may not feel it right now, young lady, but this is not something we’re going to take a chance with. It could become very serious if you have a relapse.”
The girl’s mouth twisted into a classic Shirley Temple pout. “O-kay,” she mumbled, in a tone designed to make her father want to cry. “You’re the doctor.”
“That’s right. I am. I’m also your friend, my little mermaid. Now, if you’d visit with the nice lady for a few minutes,” he indicated Ana, “I need to talk to your dad.”
Dan followed Dr. Harris out into the hall and Ana moved next to Sherry’s bed. “It’s going to be okay, Sherry. I understand why you want to compete with the swim team. Your dad told me how well you do.”
“He did? I guess I can miss a meet or two. But my coach isn’t going to be happy about it. He says I’m a big part of the team.”
“That may be true but if you get so sick you have to quit swimming, he’d be even more unhappy.”
Sherry thought about it for a moment. “Yeah. You’re right. I might miss a little bit but then I’ll be back with the team.” She gave the woman a big smile. “You’re a pretty nice lady, Ana.”
“Thank you. I think you’re nice, too. Your dad is quite proud of you, you know.”
“I’m proud of him, too. He’s taken really good care of me since Mama died.”
Ana blinked rapidly, surprised that the girl would be so open about losing her mom. “I’m sure it hasn’t been easy.”
Sherry smiled again. “No, I really miss Mama, but Dad’s been great. Except he doesn’t understand much about girl stuff.”
“Girl stuff?”
“Yeah. You know, like clothes. I like to wear dresses sometimes but he always just keeps my jeans and shirts clean for me to wear. So I always look like a boy. Stuff like that.”
“Oh.” She looked into Sherry’s eyes. “Do you ever tell him what you want?”
“No. He’s been so sad I don’t want to worry him.”
“I see...” She turned away, still assimilating the girl’s complaint, when Dan re-entered the room. He gave Sherry a kiss and took Ana’s hand, leading her into the hall.
He spoke very softly, his eyes dark with worry. “I’ve got a problem.”

Now, if you haven’t already found it, scurry on over and check out Muse Publishing. There will be lots of exciting books coming your way over the months ahead and lots of cool contests, too. Drop by often, and don’t forget to look for my book next April!
Best regards,
Pat Dale

Friday, September 17, 2010

Welcome, Roseanne Dowell

Recently, I received a rejection from Muse It Up Publishing, after an acceptance. That softened the blow a bit. This isn’t my first rejection from Muse. I’ve had two others, but I also have six contracts. The nice thing about Lea Schizas is whenever she sends a rejection, she also lets you know what to fix. I really appreciate that about her.

So here I was with the rejection – the second one of this particular story. I guess I didn’t fix enough the first time. Okay, I looked at all the highlighted words – ‘she’ in this case. Wow, I almost couldn’t believe it. As Lea pointed out, she really liked the story, but there was too much passive voice, not enough showing and too much telling.

Well, of course she was right. I tend to paraphrase rather than use ‘I’ or ‘me’ which begins to sound clunky when you have a long scene that the hero or heroine are thinking. So of course I use ‘she’. Let me tell you it lends for a lot of ‘she’s in a paragraph. Way too many. The story doesn’t flow. So of course, Lea, being a conscientious editor and wanting only the best work for her publishing company, simply said ‘rejected’. Okay, she didn’t put it that way. She sent a very nice email, explaining she really did like the story, but it still needed work – there was too much passive voice and after I worked on it, please resubmit.

As I said earlier, Lea is a very nice person and I value her opinion. Oh, didn’t I say she was a nice person? Sorry, I meant to. Lea is a very nice person. I couldn’t ask for a better editor. Seriously, as an editor and publisher, she really knows her stuff, and she goes above and beyond what most editors and publishers do.
But, I’m off the reason for this blog. So back to the subject. I received the rejection, looked at the story, saw all those highlighted words and almost screamed. How in the world was I going to fix this? It was going to take forever.

I’m pretty good at looking at someone else’s work, but when it comes to my own, well let’s just say the mind goes blank. After all, I wrote it, I know what it’s supposed to say and mean. I know the emotion behind the characters. Too bad, I didn’t convey it to the reader.

So, I closed up the manuscript. I wasn’t in a frame of mind to even begin to work on it. It looked like gobbledy gook to me. All I could see was a mass of yellow scattered throughout.

However, the next morning bright and early at 7AM, my muse woke me. The first thing that came to mind was a sentence from the manuscript. A very good sentence. Well, I learned a long time ago, when the muse speaks, you don’t ignore. So I eased myself out of bed, being careful not to wake my hubby – not that I would have if I had jumped out of bed – he sleeps like a log. But, I didn’t want to wake our dogs either, especially the puppy, who would then require a trip outside. I didn’t have time for that. My muse was throwing more and more sentences at me by the minute. I barely had time to go to the bathroom and brush my teeth. If I didn’t get these words down quickly, I was going to forget them.

So I quickly made a pot of coffee and picked up my laptop. I opened my email to get the copy of my manuscript, opened it and the words started flowing. I love when that happens. I was on a roll. Several hours later (3 to be exact) hubby rolls out of bed, pours himself a cup of coffee and sits down. I was on such a roll; I never even stopped to get me a cup. He says good morning, and I asked him to please get me a cup. My fingers never even left the keys, my eyes never strayed from the screen. He brought me coffee, I took a sip and kept on typing. This was going well. I loved it.

An hour later, I only had a few pages left to revise. I loved it. Hubby, at this point was reading a catalog. That was fine, I didn’t care what he was doing as long as he didn’t bother me. Of course, every so often, he made a comment about something in the catalog. I just nodded and kept typing. Nothing was going to stop me from finishing.

Well, nothing but him, that is. He found something he just had to read to me.

“I’m working,” I said.

“Take a break,” he said.

What the heck, my coffee was getting cold, I was almost done, why not. “Just let me close this program.” I wasn’t taking any chances that the dog would come along, step on my laptop and mess it up or delete half of it or God knows what. So, without thinking – I seem to do a lot of that lately – I go up to the X at the top of the screen to close the program. A little box comes up – “Do you want to save changes to this document?" it asks.

Of course I do. That’s a no brainer, I didn’t put almost four hours of work into this not to save it. So I click on yes. And poof the program goes away. I instantly knew what I did. I never saved the program to begin with, I opened it directly from my email. I open the word program again and click on file to see my recently worked on programs. It’s not there. I go in my documents, it’s not there. I open every file, I’ve ever saved – nothing. I even opened the picture file. Nope nothing.

I’m ready to cry. Four hours of work, all those words – wasted. Gone with a click of my hand. Okay, that file saved somewhere. It asked me if I wanted to save it. So I typed a quick note to my fellow authors and beg for help. I received several good suggestions. One was to check my temporary internet files. Oh, I prayed so hard that it would be there. Nope, nothing that even looked like it. After a few more suggestions from people who knew computers better than me, I still hadn’t found it.
I finally resolved myself to starting over. I haven’t started it yet. I’m hoping it’ll be better than the first one when I do. But for now, I think my muse is mad at me. When I open the program all I see is bright yellow dots scattered throughout the manuscript. But, I promised myself I would get back to it someday. For now, I’ll wallow in self pity and pray that some miracle leads me to find it again. Hey, I can always hope, can’t I?

Double the Trouble will be released March 2011 by Muse It Up Publishing.

Want more about Roseanne.  Click on the banner.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Welcome, Larriane Wills, AKA Larion

Larriane AKA Larion Wills, two names one author, thousands of stories

Okay, I admit it, I ask myself that often. Lately it’s been primarily to do with promoting, keeping a blog, guesting on other blogs—Like Miz Gin’s—looping, chatting, interviews, all destined at times to drive me to distraction. I got the books published; that should be enough, shouldn’t it? Unfortunately, no, and if I didn’t owe it to myself to promote, I do owe it to my publishers.

The publisher is the one that spends the money—yes, folks money—to put my book on the market. They hire the editors, cover artists, media personnel to make a finished product of what I started. They know, and that’s why it’s in my contract, that the promoting they do is a drop in the bucket to what can be done by, you guessed it, the person who wrote it. One author I know of pulled his book from a publisher because they expected him to so some self-promoting. His reason was he didn’t have the time for it; it took him away from his writing. One would assume he bothered with a publisher in the first place so his book would be available to others to read. If he doesn’t want others to read it, why bother writing it in the first place.

Wait now, I wrote for years without publishing. But then again, maybe that is the point. When I began submitting in earnest, I knew that I was going to have to do more than just sign a contract. Admittedly it’s turned out to be more time consuming than I anticipated, but that doesn’t change the obligation to myself or my publisher. So, promote, promote, with one little tidbit of advice, when the bug bites to write, those blogs, interview opportunities, and loops will still be there when you surface. Or, and this is from hearsay, not experience, you can make yourself a schedule, so much time for this, so much for that. Never works for me, but, hey, it might for you.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Welcome, Christopher Hoare

Interview with an Oracle

CH: Hi, folks. First off, this is me, the author, setting up the interview. To interview the Pythian, one has to descend a long passage beneath the Palace of Rast to the underground chamber where the Oracle resides. Another thing to mention is that the Pythian is given to breaking out into riddles in blank verse. To give the setting, I’ll quote a passage from a chapter in Rast where the Prince goes down to consult him.

Step after step wound away before him. His feet followed them down and down, around and around, as if the way would hypnotize him. The bronze studs of his boots clacked on the hard stone until there were steps no more, merely a steep sloping tunnel to slip and scuff down into the depths. He descended in a flickering bubble of light that seemed as a globe, drawing him down into a darkened, petrified ocean. And then, all at once, he was at the bottom.

His light became a glimmer in a wide chamber. At the far end two green orbs appeared as from an empty void. “Egon,” came a resonant voice. “What a pleasant meeting

CH: Here we are in the pitch black chamber ... don’t become bogged in the thick dust ... it’s a bit creepy. Can’t see a thing. Whoops, there are the eyes in the distance, like two green moons.

“Oh, hello. Have I met you before, dear boy?”

CH: Boy? That’s a good one, I’m seventy-one.

“Pshaw. I’m at least a hundred times that. But should I know you from somewhere?”

CH: I did write the book.

“Mere triviality. We are the creatures who inhabit it --.
Empty pages only blow in wind when no spirits reside therein”

CH: I guess you’re right about that.

“I generally am. Did you come for some advice, or a foretelling of your future?”

CH: You might let me know how many copies of Rast will sell.

“Your pecuniary question is moot since your task is done
and other eyes and minds will do as they will.”

CH: Thanks, I believe I already knew that.

“Oh, think a lot of ourselves, do we?
Is that the right you claim as writer of the book?”

CH: Hmm. Should we get back to this oracle business? What would be the best avenue of book promotion?

“Does a poor magic creature reside in the dark, bereft?
Offer words of value for so little consideration?”

CH: Oh, you mean I didn’t bring you your honey toasted roaches?

“Aha, not so dull after all.
Visit the palace kitchen.
Catch the morsels (plenty reside therein) and tender them to me.
I may answer your question then ... or not.
You see – the future is easy not to learn.

CH: Drat. Here I am on the way back up the passage. Sorry I wasn’t able to find out more about the Pythian and his origins. Magic creatures are not easy to handle.

To find out more about Chris and his work, visit Muse It Up Publishing.

Romance Reviews

The Romance Reviews