Friday, December 25, 2009

Here's a Christmas Gift for you: Ready to win an eReader?

The Samhellion is giving away Sony and Kindle e-readers during the month of December and I'm part of the fourth and final round!

The contest rules are posted at The Samhellion. All you have to do is go to my website,, and try to find the "icon" I've been asked to hide. Once you find it, write down the location and go looking for the next one on the next author listed site. After you've found them all, go back to The Samhellion, and enter the contest for a chance to win!

What a great way to end the year and start a new one - happy hunting and good luck!

Oh, and because you're here, I'll give you a hint of where to find my icon:  Think BOOKS!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Smooches under the mistletoe!

Ever wonder about the tradition of kissing beneath the mistletoe?  I did and yet my mind got stuck on one little, tiny, bit of information:  "The appearance and nature of the fruit's content (viscin) is very similar to or suggestive of human semen and this has strengthened its pagan connections." Wikipedia

I didn't see this anywhere else, but like I said, it stuck in my head and makes me look at the ball of tradition a little differently.  I'm not so keen to stand beneath it, although this lost bit of the tradition brings a little bit of the fun back into seeing it hanging:  "The mistletoe is still hung up in farm-houses and kitchens at Christmas, and the young men have the privilege of kissing the girls under it, plucking each time a berry from the bush. When the berries are all plucked the privilege ceases."  Christmas Eve by Washington Irving found quoted on About:Landscaping  Kissing Under the Mistletoe by David Beaulieu

Let the fun times beneath the mistletoe commence.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Hump Day Reflections

Santa is taking a little rest before getting busy in a couple of days.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Book Talk!

Whether its been a job application or social media, travel is always listed as one of my favorite things to do and boy, have I gone on some great trips.  When I make these trips, sometimes there's a story I'm there to research, but then there are those times one builds up while I'm there.  My intention is to put the reader right there, in the chair beside me, in whatever location things may be taking place.

A few places I've been and brought between the covers are:

New York [The Painted Lady, Come Sweet Creature, The Leather Bride]

California [Extreme Speed Total Control, An Invitation to the World: China, Drive-In, OohRah!, And She Scores! - coming in February, Call Me Lucifer - coming in March]

United Kingdrom [Extreme Speed Total Control (Scotland), The Gilded Cage (England), Highland Heat (Scotland), My Angel (England) - coming in May]

France [Taming Marie Antoinette]

India [An Invitation to the World: India]

Happy travels, be it in person or by book!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Naughty thought for Monday...

Baby, it's cold outside, but it some cases, making things hotter may not be the right thing to do.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Who is the big guy wearing red?

Seriously, who is that jolly old gent we welcome into our home, and accept gifts from him?

Well, the man called Santa Claus started out in the 4th Century as Saint Nicholas of Myra, a bishop known for giving gifts to the poor. This led me to thinking if this why many charities reach far and wide for help during the holidays. I certainly enjoy giving, to family and friends, and those who need it most.

One of my favorite things to do during the holiday season is pulling a name off a gifting tree set up in bookshops. Maybe it's because I like spending time in those places, but reading is something I think everyone, of all ages, should be excited to do. I usually pick out one of the older kids, more of a challenge to give them something they want, like, and touches that place that makes them want to read more.

If you're shy of money, then I have another suggestion: go visit your local senior center or home and spend some time with the folks there. Maybe take a book to read, everyone loves to hear "Twas the Night Before Christmas" by Clement C. Moore. You could make the same offer to your library, it's will put a smile on your face, and those listening as well.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Hump Day Reflections!

Model David Gandy wearing this hat helps make thinking warm thoughts, happen.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Book Talk!

I am one of those women who love a variety of sports and so this is an interesting time for me. You see, this is the time of year when some sports are coming into their season and others are ending. Whether championships or games where they players are still finding their rhythm as a team, the games are good fun to watch.

Okay, now you know a secret of mine, you won't be surprised to know sports have shown up in a few of my books. They are:

The Painted Lady - Ice Hockey
Extreme Speed, Total Control - Car Racing
An Invitation to the World: New Zealand - Rugby
Zandia - Speedball [Futuristic and twisted around version of Basketball]
And She Scores! - Football [coming in February]


Monday, December 14, 2009

Naughty Thought for Monday

Ummm, what?

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Are you ready for this?

I've recently told you how to make that special mug of sweetness, a yummy treat usually consumed during the holidays in England, and last week I gave you a bunch of British flicks to watch. Well, ttoday, I'm feeling more contemporary, so here are a few films to put you in Jolly Ol' without having to pack a suitcase:

My Beautiful Laundrette
Love Actually
Full Monty
Rock n Rolla
Death at a Funeral

Fun times!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Have a holiday party to go to and no time to make anything?

In my case it's a lack of skill and attention that led me to learn how to make Mince Pies.  They are very simple to make and don't take long either.  So here you go, something for workmates, neighbors, relatives, or yourself - a little something to put you in the holiday frame of mind.

Here we go, Mince Pies:

You need flour, sugar, milk, rolling pin, two different sized glasses, teaspoon, anti-stick method [I use Pam, but anything will do], muffin tray for mini muffins [bite size :-)], pastry for pies [I use Pillsbury, yup, told you it was easy], and Mincemeat. 

This comes in basic mincemeat and the other is with Brandy and Rum.  I've used both, but the latter is my favorite - can't taste it, but it does add a little unique flavor to the mix. 

Now, like there are recipes for the pastry, there is help around the next for making your own mincemeat.  Good on you for going there, but I get the Crosse & Blackwell.  You'll find it in your local supermarket in the "baking aisle" or in the "holiday aisle".  There are other brands, but after ten years of making these, C&B is my preferred brand.

Throw a bit of flour on your counter, roll out the pastry, not too much, but some.  Now take the larger glass and cut out your bases.  After making sure your tin is sticky proofed, gently push the pastry disk down into the muffin holes.  Gently.  Don't press the pastry to the sides and don't leave anything poking up, should be flush.

Next, use your teaspoon, put a dollop of mincemeat into the pastry cup, making sure you don't overfill.  When all the holes are filled, use your smaller glass, cut out the tops, and lay them on top.  You may have to put scraps together in a ball and roll it out again, but that's fine.

The last thing you do before cooking them is have a small bit of milk in a dish, dip two fingers into it, and gently [again with the gently] paint the top.  Now you're ready to cook them.

Cook at 425, middle of the oven, for about 15 minutes.

When you pull them out, they will be seriously hot - especially the mix - give them a couple minutes [no more] to cool down.  Using a knife tip, release the mince pie from the cup and place them on a cooling rack.  When you have them all there, add a pinch of sugar to each top, and there you go:  Mince Pies.

They taste great whilst still warm and with brandy butter on them, but they are good any way you can get them.  You'll often find Hard Sauce by C&B being sold beside the Mincemeat, as well as Plum Pudding, which the hard sauce can also be used on - well, after you've lit it up that is - but that's another thing.


Friday, December 11, 2009

A bit of random ridiculousness...


A woman was in a coma. She had been in it for months.

Nurses were in her room giving her a bed bath. One of them was washing her private area and noticed that there was a slight response on the monitor whenever she touched her there. They tried it again and sure enough, there was definite movement.

They went to her husband and explained what happened, telling him, 'As crazy as this sounds, maybe a little 'Oral sex' will do the trick & bring her out of the coma'.

The husband was sceptical, but they assured him that they would close the curtains for privacy. The husband finally agreed and went into his wife's room.

After a few minutes the woman's monitor flat lined, no pulse, no heart rate. The nurses run back into the room. 'What happened!?' they cried.

The husband said, 'I'm not sure; maybe she choked.'


Thursday, December 10, 2009

Art Day

The Frenchman Hippolyte Delaroche, also known as Paul Delaroche, painted 'The Execution of Lady Jane Grey' in 1833 and it now hangs in the National Gallery, London.

During my first trip abroad, I went to to the National Gallery, and remember sitting in front of this painting, entranced. It was her satin gown that held my attention. The texture was so real, so incredibly executed, I wanted to reach out and touch it, still do.

A few historical movies I've watched that will put you in that English frame of mind are:

Lady Jane
A Room With a View
The Other Boleyn Girl
The Duchess
Elizabeth and Elizabeth: The Golden Age
Pride and Prejudice, BBC version

Yup, a few weeks ago I was in a beach frame of mind, well, now I'm in an English frame of mind. No sand, sun, or surf, but scones with clotted cream and strawberry jam from Bettys Cafe, pints of Black Sheep with a chip butty and scraps, and a bag or two of Walkers Smoky Bacon or Worcester Sauce crisps all sound great as well.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Hump Day Reflections!

Photo by Kemuel Valdes and found on OHLALA Magazine

Sand is looking pretty good here!

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Book Talk!

I'm working on 'Double Punch', which will be followed up by 'Cyra's Cyclopes' [you met them in 'Hephaestus Lays Down the Law'], and I suddenly realized that the Ancient Greek Gods and Goddesses have shown up in my writing before, and I don't mean any other book in the Mythological Messes Redux series.

They show up in 'The Painted Lady', part of the Winter Wishes Anthology.

The heroine, Saffron Hoyt, is a model doing a private commission as her last photoshoot. She's retiring because she doesn't want to watch her weight anymore. The gig involves having her body painted so she blends into a variety of paintings/sculpture such as Sandro Botticelli's Birth of Venus, Peter Paul Ruben's Leda and the Swan, and the Venus de Milo.

There is also an important appearance by Janus in 'New Beginnings: Carpe Diem'.

You haven't heard of him? Well, he isn't Greek, he's Roman, but he fit so perfectly, I had to go with him. You see, the escapees need are searching for a name to suit their new piece of paradise and the heroine, Maris, who was a librarian, suggests Janus. Amongst other things, he was the god of civilization, beginnings and endings, and blessed with a benevolent personality. Perfect.

Monday, December 07, 2009

Stuff from a writer...


What is that?
It's a necessity and something a writer does to better understand a particular thing. One of your goals is to write a story that puts the reader right there alongside your hero and heroine. To do that, you need to know about whatever it is you're writing about from all angles.

How long does it take?
Don't be stingy, take as long as is necessary.

Where do I go, the library?
Absolutely! You can go to your local library and troll through the shelves, or go with a list of specific books. You can also do research online, by asking questions or conducting interviews of people who would know, or experience it for yourself.

I'm writing fiction, doesn't that mean it's all made up?
Hmmm, to a certain extent, yes, you are making the plot and characters up. However, if there is anything or anyplace that is real, say like New York City, then it must be handled correctly. If you don't and it slips by your editor as well, then you can be sure a reader will call you out on it. And they should, because you pulled them out of the story by not doing your research.

Let me give you an example of using research from a variety of sources. A friend of mine recommended I visit a particular cafe while in Paris. I found it detailed in my travel guide and checked out the map to see if there was anything around it I might want to see. All this was in preparation for a trip, not a research session.

Okay, there's the back story, and in reality, it led to Taming Marie Antoinette. One of the scenes that pulled it all together was when the heroine goes to a cafe to do some work and eat a late lunch:

Liana entered the historic sweet shop Ladurée and sighed, feeling lighter in spirit already. She loved this place with a passion, its marble black and white checkerboard floor, with dark wood and glass cases full of sugared treats. This was a place she could see herself living in if given the choice. Off to the right, behind a screen and a few tall plants was an ornate and intimate dining room full of mirrors, gilding and cherubs on the ceiling. When her turn came, she requested a seat for one and told the woman she’d be eating lunch as well.

Settling into one of the bench seats backed up against the wall, she set the menu down and looked around the room. There was a wonderful mix of people. Lovers, friends, business meetings and even a few tourists, almost filled the space. The seat across the table from her was empty, which suited her. She pulled out her notebook and a couple of colored pencils from her coat pocket.

A few moments later the waitress, wearing a white apron, came up and took her order.

Bonjour. Bonjour. Etes-vous prêt?

Oui, s'il vous plaît, une omelette sans les champignons ou les tomates, une cruche d'eau et un pot de chocolat chaud.” She always ordered a pot of hot chocolate whenever she was here but rarely an omelet. Although they were good, there was no way she’d eat anything with a mushroom and tomato within sniffing distance but today she wanted the fluffy egg item so asked for one without the offending items.


She didn’t have to wait long after ordering. The jug of water and pot of chocolate came before the omelet. She poured a small glass of water and took a sip, before moving on to the good stuff. She enjoyed watching the thick molten chocolate silently slip into her delicate cup. Picking up the hot pink and gold china, her eyes automatically shut as she inhaled the delicious aroma. Moving the rim to rest on her lower lip, Liana tilted the cup and poured a small amount of warm decadence to hold in her mouth before swallowing.


“Excuse me, mademoiselle.”

“Oh! I’m so sorry.”

Est-ce que ça vous ennuierait partageant votre table avec un autre?

Startled, she’d been so lost in the chocolate she hadn’t noticed the young woman standing close to the side of her table asking if she’d be comfortable with having another person share her table.

Oui, oui, of course.”

It was common to have to share a table in the small space. Coming after the lunch crowd was because she preferred not to, but would never think to put the staff out by saying no. Moving her notebook and pencils to the bench beside her, she shifted her beverage paraphernalia closer, making sure there was space available for the other person.

Out of her peripheral vision, she saw a large presence in a dark suit sit in the chair opposite, but didn’t look up. She hadn’t come here for idle repartee.

“Thank you for making room for me.”

The familiar deep, sexy growl brought gooseflesh racing up her arms. Immediately her eyes flicked up to meet sharp green orbs with soft brown flecks. Were they the same ones she’d seen surrounded by a black half mask? Quickly she took in his hair, general physique, and gasped in surprise.

Oui, we meet again, Liana.”

Her heart started racing. She was sharing her table with one of the twins from the Depravity Dance.
Copyright © 2007, 2008 Tilly Greene

Did all that happen during my visit to the cafe? Nope, but I imagine you can pick out what did. The decor, the food [and yes the hot chocolate was divine], the type of people who were there, and then poetic license took over. So, my advice in regards to doing research is simple:

Do the research, do it well and in depth. Take notes and pictures to refer back to. Then, when it comes to writing, the details will flow along with the words.

Friday, December 04, 2009

A bit of random ridiculousness...

Little Known Baseball Fact

The first testicular guard (Cup) was used in baseball in 1874 and the first helmet was used in 1934.

It took 60 years for men to realize that the brain is also important.

Thank you, WooWoo, this was a hoot!

Thursday, December 03, 2009

I equally enjoy...

blockbuster, not so blockbuster, and foreign language to me films. They're all entertaining.

Normally, if there is a "blockbuster" I want to see, I go to the theater when it's released to watch it, and then I'm done with it. Because of where I live, the not so big flicks are harder to find in a theater, and so I rent them up from Hollywood Video. Unfortunately, the foreign language to me films are harder still to find and are the ones I tend to buy to watch over and over again.

Some I have seen over the years and remember for one reason or another are in no particular order:

Babbette's Feast [Babettes gæstebud]
May Fools [Milou en mai]
The Triplets of Belleville [Les triplettes de Belleville]
The Story of Qui Ju [Qiu Ju da guan si]
Pan's Labyrinth [El laberinto del fauno]
Queen Margot [La reine Margot]

I've been watching foreign films from an early age and I think they not only opened my eyes to countries other than my own, but they also gave me the desire to explore them, their culture and people. I'm lucky enough to do this in person, but strongly believe it can also be done through books/ebooks as well.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Book Talk!

The small beach town I visited for Thanksgiving has two independent bookshops and both have their top ten bestseller lists for the week of November 22 in the local paper. Here are the two lists:

1. Going Rogue: An American Life by Sarah Palin

2. Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel

3. The Gift of Rain by Tan Twan Eng

4. Zeitoun by Dave Eggers

5. The Girl Who Played with Fire by Stieg Larsson

6. August Heat by Andrea Camilleri

7. Fool by Christopher Moore

8. In the President's Secret Service by Ronald Kessler

9. The Help by Kathryn Stockett

10. Open by Andrew Agassi

1. Hollywood Monster: A Walk Down Elm Street with the Man of Your Dream by Robert Englund

2. Making Music: Unique Ways Songs Become Hits by John Gregory

3. Roll Call by Glenn Langohr

4. Best iPhone Apps: The Guide for Discriminating Downloaders by Josh Clark

5. The Girl Who Played with Fire by Stieg Larsson

6. Going Rogue: An American Life by Sarah Palin

7. My Life in France by Julia Child

8. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson

9. Push by Sapphire

10. Art Damanged by Nora Novak

Less than a mile separates these two shops but they appeal to different readers and both happily order anything they don't have in the shop. Even better!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Stuff from a writer...

~It is perfectly valid for “you” to speak of a writing career~

Zoe, this just pisses me off as it supposes I didn’t come up through the ranks, sweating my way, going through what every other new writer goes through.

It supposes I really don’t know what I’m talking about in today’s publishing arena because I’m somehow removed from it by success.

So I have to stop all this and go back to my privileged career—which for me, is continuing to sweat over the keyboard to write a book.

Nora Roberts, November 2009, Comments section of a SBTB

This pretty much says it all. The work never stops. So, in a previous Stuff from a writer... entry, I said come up with a rhythm, repeat over and over again. What exactly does that mean? Well, you need to find your own routine, but here is mine for some hints:

Wake up and check emails. Answer those I can do quickly and add those that will take more time to the day's schedule. Write a blog, if it hasn't been already. Read bloglines, Twitter, and Facebook. Figure out the writing that needs to be done [maybe I have edits to work through or a couple of chapters to write in the current story I'm working on] and get started. It's now around one or two, time to go back upstairs, and get dressed. Next up is admin stuff [i.e. whatever is due to a publisher like blurbs/excerpts/cover requests, other industry folks may need from me like promo stuff, and the more detailed emails need answers]. Back to writing for a few more hours.

When it is all said and done, I try to get about six hours of writing [from research, plotting, to actually writing it all down, and then revising] done a day. If the writing is flowing, then all the admin and blog stuff is pushed to the side for later. No, it doesn't always go according to plan, nor is it a glamous way to spend the day. Life often throws the best laid plans into chaos and you need to figure out a way to work with it.

Find your rhythm and put the time in - let's be realistic here, if you never actually sit down and write, you won't get it done.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Black Friday

Today is commonly known as Black Friday - when shopping for the holidays kicks off in earnest. Maybe because I used to be in retail, but this day holds no appeal to me. So, I typed "black" and another word into Google, and these are the things that interested me!

Black Diamond - I think this gem is stunning.

Black Sargent - John Singer Sargent is one of my favorite artists and this is one of my favorite paintings.

Black Sand - I've been to this particular beach on Maui and found it very unique.

Black - the first image when the word black is typed in, gave me the heeby geebies. It's actually a promo for a site called "watching paint dry".

Now, if you are looking to shop, Gizmodo has done all the hard work. They have a great Black Friday list to help make your shopping easier.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Turkey Day!

Today is a day full of family and traditions. In fact, when I lived abroad, I used to take Thanksgiving thursday and the following friday off. I cooked a turkey - even though the butchers balked because they were all needed for Christmas - and the fixings. The cutie says he misses my "green salad" [its so special, it will never be made public], but I know it's not because he likes it, but because it's traditional to me and my family. Another one of our traditions, no matter where we are on this day, is to sit down and watch "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation".

Kitty gnawing on the lights, squirrel in the tree, seriously overcooked turkey [the mark of Thanksgiving throughout my childhood, sorry Grandpa, but it was so very dry], and Randy Quaid's character on the side of the road, well these and more make me laugh.

Enjoy your Thursday, be there turkey or not.

The picture above is from The Situationist and the link leads to an interesting Thanksgiving article they first posted in 2007, and again in 2008.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Hump Day Reflections!

Yes, I grew up at the beach, and saw so many guys slip into the wetsuits, it stopped being interesting. However, I still think surfers are sexy and since I'm in a beach frame of mind, I thought I'd share.

If you fancy going to the beach, but can't get there, no problem. Here are a few flicks that will take you down to the sand:

Endless Summer
Big Wednesday
Local Boys - hello Mark Harmon!
Lilo & Stich
Point Break
Riding Giants

Fancy a book that dabbles its pages into the sea? Here are a few of mine that do just that:

An Invitation to the World and An Invitation to the World 2 [Dubai]
Drive-In, Coming Together: Under Fire [Southern California]
Extreme Speed, Total Control [Southern California]
OohRah! [Southern California]

Coming Soon is And She Scores! [Southern California]

Yup, in a beach frame of mind.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

eBook Talk!

Here we go, the authors and their work [title and genre] that ARe will be releasing, one a day during the month of February 2010 for their 28 Days of Heart Campaign, with the proceeds going to benefit the American Heart Association.

Exchange of Hearts by G.A. Hauser (Gay, Contemporary)
Tor: Viking Master by Ellen Margret (Historical Ancient)
Timeless Voyage by Cornelia Amiri (Historical Ancient)
Moonlit Watcher by Crystal-Rain Love (Werewolf, Interracial, Contemporary)
A Slightly Different Perfect by Sylvia Shults (Fantasy, Romantic Comedy)
Zero-G by Michele Hart (Sci-Fi)
And She Scores by Tilly Greene (Contemporary)
Wild Child by Shelley Munro (Contemporary)
A Fair Trade by BA Tortuga (Gay, Shape-shifter, Western)
Hell's Angel by Jackie Kessler (Paranormal)
Private Lies by Cat Johnson (Contemporary)
Touch of Fire by Samantha Sommersby (Contemporary)
Bride of Fire by Charlene Teglia (Fantasy)
Protecting Miss Samuels by Summer Devon (Historical)
A Shadow's Kiss by Barbara J. Hancock (Paranormal, Vampire, Contemporary)
Hold Onto the Night by Kari Thomas (Contemporary)
Liberating Lucius by Bonnie Dee (Historical Ancient)
Mad About Meg by Mari Carr (Contemporary)
GPS by Leigh Ellwood (Gay, Contemporary)
Country Loving by Robin Leigh Miller (Thriller, Contemporary)
Unshuttered by Emery Sanborne & Philippa Grey-Gerou (Contemporary)
Vanilla with Extra Nuts by Victoria Blisse (Multipartner, Rubenesque, Contemporary)
Stay with Me by Alisha Steele (Fantasy)
Love is Blindness by Sean Michael (Gay, Vampire, Contemporary)
Angels & Genies by K.F. Zuzulo (Paranormal, Fantasy)
Love Unleashed by Marcia James (Contemporary)
Sea of Sin by India Harper (Gay, Contemporary)
Sweets by E. Cameron Stacy (Contemporary)

What a great mix - I can't wait for these to release!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Stuff from a writer...

Recently, there have been some interesting developments in the publishing industry, and I choose not to go over the facts, rumors, or concerns about them - there are plenty out there who have and, personally, aren't all that helpful.


Because it seems to me that most sites who are discussing the new developements, are actually talking to people who already know about publishing, rather than those who are hoping to be published. That is the group that will potentially be more damaged than anyone else. Of course, everyone is worried about a newbie jumping into a tenuous situation, but, at the same time, they aren't telling them what to do. So, here you go, some very basic, but well-meaning advice for an aspiring author:

1. Writing is a job, treat it that way.
Always be professional, do your research, and then do some more. This means you need to learn all you can about your craft and then read for knowledge, not just pleasure. You also need tot delve deeper into the business of writing and publishing, only then will you be equipped to know what isn't as good a situation as it sounds. There are many sites out that offer news and industry happenings, however, know your source, and be able to trust them implicitly. Be able to tell the muck from gold.

2. Know the business you're getting into, know it very well, and respect its unique qualities.
You must put the time in to understand everything in relation to writing/publishing. Everything.
• Understand contracts and how to handle various clauses, the editing process, royalties, and especially the publishing house(s) you wish to submit to.
• Understand that you must do more than write the book. An author must be able to sell it to a publisher, as well as the public. That means you have to promote it and figure out how to do it in a way that suits you, the book, and your publishing house.
• Understand that no two houses are the same. Before you submit [whether it's your first, second, or twelth book with them], read their guidelines, respect them and the house, and do it as they request.

3. And, ultimately, no excuses, BIC - put the butt in the chair and write.
There is no chance of you being an author if you don't actually do the work. Yes, it's a solitary job, but life will interrupt your writing, best get over that hump right now. Find your rhythm and repeat it - everyday, again, no excuses. Now, this is very important so pay close attention: every word you write is not golden. That comes later. So get busy and write, get it all down, then worry about the perfect word, grammar, and polish. Oh, by the way, that perfection will only last until your editor gets their hands on your pride and joy, but that's something for another day.

There you go, the work isn't always glamorous and wonderful, shocking I know, but it explains why many authors are excited to attend events and let their hair down.

Please realize that there is much more to know about being writer. Loads of details, seriously important details, but someone who wants to write needs to go out there and learn all about the business - from top to bottom, and the stuff hidden in the back of the closet as well. I will, however, offer you two platitudes that actually fit and should be kept in mind:

• Don't take the easy route, take the right road, even if it will take longer.

• Don't be desperate to hold the book in your hand, be desperate to do it right, and then hold the book in your hand.

Good luck, because, in the end, it is a very rewarding job - which is why it's worth the time and effort to do it right.

Friday, November 20, 2009

A bit of random ridiculousness...

So, you're expecting to receive some chocolate over the holidays, and yet still have Halloween goodies hanging around. What can you do? Well, here's an idea for the chocolate bars - yes, even those with nuts, berries, or whatever:

1. Break the bar or bars up into chunks [about a 1/2 cup worth] and put in a mug.

2. Put mug in the microwave and turn it on for 15-20 seconds, use a wooden spoon to stir a bit and break it up a bit more. Repeat.

3. Once almost all melted add a teaspoon of butter - yes, butter! - and do the final melt, and then stir.

4. Add milk to the chocolate/butter mixture and slowly, like before, heat it up. Stir occassionally with your wooden spoon and dip you finger in occassionally to decide when it's a toasty temp to drink.

5. Decorate your hot chocolate feast with either whipped cream or marshmallow [I usually do the minis because they melt and meld into the beverage where the big ones can create a shelf]. After that, you can sprinkle the small pieces that didn't make it into the mug over the top, or anything else you fancy - like broken candy canes.

Yummy, and now you're ready to receive some more chocolate.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Fabulous Female Authors I've Read in 2009!

Everyday, a couple of times, I read various blogs through bloglines [what would I do without this service?] and one from Susan, of West of Mars fame, popped to remind me of something I meant to do.

Let me give you a little back information. A few weeks, maybe a month ago, Publisher's Weekly produced a best of 2009 book list. No, I don't shop from these, but I'll read them, and see if there's anything that might interest my mom or maybe someone else I like to buy books for. Well, I didn't see the list, I read about the top ten all being written by men. Normally this wouldn't catch my attention either, but I am sure there has been some great books by women - off the top of my head, what about The Help by Kathryn Sockett. Anyway, another blog I read by Moonrat touched on this subject and put out a challenge for people to list the [published in] 2009 books they'd read that were written by women.

Here you go, not many, but I enjoyed each and every one of them:

Love's Immortal Pantheon Anthology by Dagmar Avery, Cat Johnson, Tilly Greene, Kayleigh Jamison, Eliza Gayle, Selena Illyria and Diana DeRicci - seven women, including me, so of course I read the other stories!
Nauti Intensions by Lora Leigh
Lethal Legacy by Linda Fairstein
Finger Lickin' Fifteen by Janet Evanovich
London for the Holidays by Stella and Audra Price
Skin Trade by Laurell K Hamilton
Highland Heat by Tilly Greene - yeah, another one by me.

I figure the main question in your mind is "Why so few?" I have 3 more romances [historical and a couple of contemporaries] published this year that are sitting in my TBR pile, alongside 2 non-fictions that were by men, and therefore couldn't be counted. The rest of what I read were published in previous years, like Maria Tatar's The Annotated Brothers Grimm published in 2004.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Hump Day Reflections!

The holidays are almost here and many of us are thinking of our waistlines - well, maybe Canadian Tym Roders will get you thinking of moving before nibbling on the festive offerings.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

eBook Talk!

Actually, it's about how to read an ebook, and all that is happening in the eReader field. New devices are being released all the time and you might be able to find some deals this coming holiday season. My hint is to start your research now, so when you see a bargain on the one that suits you, you're ready!

You might want to start with:

Kindle and Kindle DX
iPod Touch
iRex Digital Reader
Que [not coming until early 2010]
Sony Digital Reader

Don't forget, you can also read an ebook on your mobile, netbook, laptop, and desktop computers. You can read all over the place, doctor's office to the train. But, you can also pick the format that suits you at any particular moment, no one is tied to any one way to read.

Isn't reading exciting?!?

Monday, November 16, 2009

Naughty Thought for Monday...

Who does this remind you of?

I was thinking Ziggy Stardust and then I relized exactly what I was really looking at - wow, not seeing Ziggy or David Bowie anymore.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

It's Veterans Day!

Thank you to all our Veterans - not just today, but everyday.

While there are many branches of the military, I happen to have a special place in my heart for the Marines. While I grew up near a major base, there's one in particular who unknowingly [and now knowingly] helped me shape Warrant Officer Dale Smythe in "OohRah!" and another who is in Afghanistan - thank you.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Superior Fire Department Toy Drive

::: Permission to Forward to anyone you can think of ;-):::

I am here in hopes of helping Todd get toy donations for the Superior Fire Department again this year. :-)

We live in a small old mining town, population three thousand. My husband who helps me with all things RJ runs the local fire department in town. It's a low income town and there are a lot of kids here that don't get much for Christmas. Weeks before Christmas the fire department decorates one of the fire trucks with thousands of holiday lights, fire personnel and yours truly spend weeks wrapping every toy brought in with festive Christmas paper. On Christmas Eve Santa and Ms. Claus ride in back of the fire truck and, with Christmas music blaring, the fire truck weaves its way up and down every street in town. The sirens blare every few minutes and as kids hear it they scramble out of their houses. The truck stops and Santa gives each child a toy. The drive itself takes seven hours. It's a big production and one that the fire department takes great pride in.

A few years ago I got involved in the toy drive. With the help of the Romance Community the Fire Dept has been able to give a toy to every child in town for 3 years straight. The toys are not expensive small stuffed animals and 1-4 dollar toys, but it doesn't take a lot to make it a magical night for the kids in town, especially when Santa is delivering the toys personally.

I know it's been a bad year for everyone, but I am really hoping we can raise enough toys again this year. Last year we barely brought in enough, but we did it! ;-)

If anyone is interested in sending in some toys it would be VERY MUCH appreciated by both the fire department and the kids in town ;-)

I really want to thank everyone who has contributed over the years. I go on the drive every year with Todd and I can't describe adequately how incredible the whole experience is. It chokes me up every year watching kids with huge grins on their faces, clutching tight to the toy Santa has given them.

You can check out photos of the Santa Drive here.

If you would like to donate toys or gift cards you can do so by sending them into:
Superior Fire Dept Toy Drive
C/O Superior Fire Department
236 Golf Course Rd
Superior, AZ 85173

The Department is not set up to take Paypal. So anyone who would like to contribute via Paypal can send their donations into Romance Junkies and I will forward the donations onto the Fire Dept. RJ pal info is - info is

Cat Brown AKA Chaoscat
(Chaos - It's not just a lifestyle, it's a state of mind)
Owner/Operator Romance Junkies

Monday, November 09, 2009

The good news is flowing!

Okay, so on Friday I received the news that three of my Torrid Teasers [New Zealand, Russia and China from the An Invitation to the World series] at Whiskey Creek Press Torrid would be released in a The Best of Torrid Teasers Vol. 2 [January 2010] along with three teasers from Susan M. Sailors and three from Cheri Valmont!

Great news!

And then, on Saturday morning, I was going through my emails and opened one from All Romance eBooks that informed me my contemporary erotic romance, And She Scores!, was accepted for their special project for February 2010. Every day of the month dedicated to all things red they will release a new ebook with the proceeds going to benefit the American Heart Association - really cool news!

So, it's only November, and 2010 is shaping up to be a fun year!

In January, The Best of Torrid Teases Vol. 2 and Double Punch will be released from Whiskey Creek Press Torrid and Tease Publishing respectively.

In February, And She Scores! will be released from All Romance eBooks.

And over at Whiskey Creek Press Torrid, Call Me Lucifer and My Angel release dates are still to be determined.

I'm not wishing the time away, but I can't wait for 2010!

Saturday, November 07, 2009

It's National Bookstore Day!

Think local!

Shop local!

Visit your local independent bookstore today and pick out a few books for your holiday gifts!

Visit IndieBound to help you find a book shop close to you and what else is around there to plan an interesting day out in your area.

Here is a Publisher's Weekly article on what the day is all about.

Friday, November 06, 2009

All About AAD!

It's been almost two weeks since the Authors After Dark Paranormal Weekend and it's still bouncing around in my mind. In a few short words the entire weekend was one of the best ever, but the parties were a blast!

Friday started with the LIP Ladies, Love Immortal Pantheon authors cocktail welcome. I was in on this one [and forgot the camera] and we offered Ambrosia [grapefruit juice, pomegranate juice, and champagne], nibble treats, and goodies [bath salts, wax chips, and packet of promo]. It was a lovely for everyone to gather and mingle before we moved into the dining room for raffle and more substantial nibbles, and then the night turned into a PJ Mixer! Favorite sleep attire was worn and favorite stuffed buddy were carried - it was a great night for all!

It was the perfect way to kick off the weekend - everyone was keeping it real!

Saturday was all about interesting panels and the booksigning, but the big event was the Masquerade! People went all out, from the makeup and hair, to the clothes, the costumes were from across the board and all were wow-worthy making for a fun time even more incredible. One minute you're talking with a Jane Austen Zombie and the next a faun!

Those are just two of the events that stand out in my mind and is helped because I remebered my camera, but when I think back on the entire weekend, and I can say I'll be going to next years weekend. In fact, mark your calendars, it is rumored to be toward the end of September, and the LIP Ladies are already talking about what we should do to kick it all off!

Now, have you done the AAD Scavenger Hunt? NO!?! Then get busy - go here to get started, there's some serious swag on offer to the winner! Oh, you've done everyone else and were waiting for me? Cool, don't forget to send your full and complete list to

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Remember, Remember, the Fifth of November!

The parkin is made, cellar temp ale at the ready, and the twigs are stacked in the backyard fireplace with a strawman [the Guy] resting on top and ready for lighting - what does all this mean?

It's Guy Fawkes Day and the cutie is wearing his Englishness proudly!

Remember, remember the fifth of November,
Gunpowder Treason and Plot,
I see no reason why gunpowder treason
should ever be forgot.

Guy Fawkes, Guy Fawkes,'twas his intent
to blow up the King and the Parliament.
Three score barrels of powder below,
Poor old England to overthrow:
By God's providence he was catch'd
With a dark lantern and burning match.
Holloa boys, holloa boys, make the bells ring.
Holloa boys, holloa boys, God save the King!
Hip hip hoorah!

A penny loaf to feed the Pope.
A farthing o' cheese to choke him.
A pint of beer to rinse it down.
A faggot of sticks to burn him.
Burn him in a tub of tar.
Burn him like a blazing star.
Burn his body from his head.
Then we'll say ol' Pope is dead.
Hip hip hoorah!
Hip hip hoorah!

Have a fabulous Bonfire Night!

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

What a birthday pressie!

This month All Romance/OmniLit turn 3 years old and they are sharing the love! Here is what they are offering to their users:

Every day in November we will choose a winner at random from that day's purchasers and buy them the books they have on their wish list. *

To get a head start simply fill your account wish list with books you'd like to read (be sure to log in first) and then every day that you make a purchase during the month of November, you'll be eligible to win.

So what are you waiting for? Log in to your All Romance/OmniLit account and start making out your wish list. We want to make your wishes come true!

To get you started, search for Tilly Greene on All Romance/OmniLit.

*up to $100.00 per customer

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Where is my mind at right now?

With Castor and Pollux.

Not to long ago I spent time on the Antinoos site checking out the various sculptures of these two brothers, and this was the one that I now keep posted to my laptop for inspiration. It can be found in The State Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg, Russia.

Monday, October 26, 2009


What is it?

It was originally conceived when an author on the Kindleboards saw a message from a deployed troop member saying that Amazon's Whispernet for Kindle doesn't work overseas. The author sent the troop his book for free by email and the idea was born, and grew. He now collects names of deployed troops who would like to receive eBooks and he has shared his list with us to forward to any ARe author who would like to donate eBooks.

What can you do?

eBooks from ARe can be downloaded by anyone! with an internet connection. If you would like to donate eBooks to a troop member, either your personal eBooks or a gift certificate for the book of their choice, we have set up an easy system that will help you. Here are the 2 ways you can give to the troops.

1 - ARe authors can now purchase codes for their eBooks and send those codes to military personnel who can then download the prepaid eBooks.
To get the codes, authors need to go to the Publisher/Author page on the All Romance eBooks site. Those already registered with an Author Login can sign in to "manage booksigning events". Those who need to register for an Author Login can do so there. (A customer account is different from an author account.) Once signed in, select "Booksigning Events", then "Operation eBook Drop" where your eBook codes can be ordered and paid for to be dist! ributed by you to the military. Once you have your codes, contact for the troop email list. Then select a member off the list and send the download code to your book to them directly.

2 - Purchase eBook Bucks and ARe will send them to the recipient of your choice.
Do you want to give back to the troops but prefer if they choose the eBooks they will receive themselves? Go to and purchase eBooks Bucks. Contact for the troop email list, enter the email address of the member you'd like to send the eBook Bucks too and they'll receive an email from us with instructions on how to download their eBooks.

I strongly recommend making email contact with the troop member prior to mailing the download code for your book for two reasons. First you want to confirm the email address is correct. Second and more important, you will want to confirm they are interested in receiving the particular book genre you are sending. The program is not only for romance readers and they may only be interested in mainstream novels. We also want to confirm that if your book contains adult situations it is going to a member who welcomes that content.

Questions? Email

Cat Johnson
Manager Media and Public Relations
All Romance eBooks, LLC

Friday, October 23, 2009

It's TIME!

I'm packing up and moving on out to the Authors After Dark Paranormal Weekend!

The Samhain/Linden Bay authors [Cat Johnson, Leigh Ellwood, Samantha Sommersby, Rosemary Laurey and Tilly Greene] have created a basket of goodies to be raffled off to support a local animal sanctuary, Pet's Alive. I've created a fabulous tote bag filled with goodies to also be raffled off.

Friday night, after everyone registers, the Love's Immortal Pantheon authors [Dagmar Avery, Cat Johnson, Kayleigh Jamison, Eliza Gayle, Selena Illyria and Tilly Greene] will be hosting a pre-Candy Shop PJ Mixer with ambrosia while talking about sexy Greek gods!

Saturday, from 2-5:00pm, is the Book Fair and it's open to the public! The books I'll be signing are:

After the fair, I'll be sitting on the Shifter's Unleashed panel - oh boy, watch out!

This weekend is going to be great fun and I hope you can come out, say hello, and get your book signed. There are going to be some great authors to greet. In case you don't know, the details are:

Holiday Inn, 3 Executive Blvd., Suffern, New York

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Fabulous Fashion News!

Judith Leiber has been making unique, fun, and stunningly beautiful handbags for years, and she still creates the must have handbag! Well, to celebrate self-publishing her biography [which I'd love to read], she's hitting the road. Alongside her travel mini-museum exhibition of her bags, she'll be signing her book "No Mere Bagatelles: Telling the Story of Handbag Genius Judith Leiber & Modernist Artist Gerson Leiber".

While it doesn't appear as if the book will be widely available, it would definitely be worth it to attend one of her retrospectives at either Neiman Marcus or Bergdorf Goodman, view the exhibit and purchase a book for her to sign. If you live near East Hampton NY, you can always stop by the Leiber Museum on Old Stone Highway, check out her bag collection, and most likely pick up a copy of her book there as well.

On a side note: Did you know that there are a couple of white peacocks in "An Invitation to the World: China"? There are and they're called George and Gracie.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Helping a Fellow Author Out

Dancing With Danger

By: Desiree Holt

Rachel Windsor knew nothing about Gabriel Peralta except that he was walking sex appeal. He blew into her life without notice, here today then always gone on a puff of wind. But each time he appears, he does things to her body that even her fantasies haven’t conjured up, driving her to orgasms that shake her like a raging storm. His mouth knows every inch of her body. The imprint of his intimate kisses linger long after he disappears.

Now he’s back again, his life unexpectedly on the line. But even in the danger zone his sexual demands are more scorching than ever and this time, Rachel is determined not to lose him—or the erotic lifestyle that binds them.

Read an excerpt

Purchase the ebook

Life has dealt Desiree Holt a difficult hand, so helping promote her new release.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Book Talk!

There was an interesting discussion about book covers yesterday on Borders True Romance blog. Reading the article, comments, and watching the video had me thinking about how I go about buying a book.

It's interesting to realize I no longer go into a bookstore with list of books in hand, eager to buy. My purchases in a brick & mortar are now strictly spontaneous, and normally based on the cover - something I think I learned from being an ebook reader. Show me an interesting cover and I'll pick it up for more details. However, if I can't read the title because the font is so elaborate, bye bye.

Anyway, back to hardcover/paperbacks purchases. If there is an author on my automatic purchase list [of which there are few] and one I want to keep [of which I have limited space for books], then the latest release is ordered online, and wings its way to me on the release day - no more driving around for a copy. Same can be said for a book that has my attention [normally non-fiction]. That is one I order online and am often surprised when it shows up on my doorstep. If they aren't a keeper but an author I know will offer me a good read, then I'll most likely pick up a copy for the next trip, and leave it wherever I am when I finish.

So, what's sitting on my shelf in my to-be-read stack?

Rogues' Gallery: The Secret History of the Moguls and the Money that Made the Metropolitan Museum

A Rogue of My Own

Burn: A Novel

Finger Lickin' Fifteen (Stephanie Plum Novels)

Fire and Ice: A Novel

Child 44 - waiting for either Thanksgiving or Christmas flights.

And right now, while the cutie is in physical therapy, I'm reading Skin Trade (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, Book 17)

Yup, some of these books have been on the shelf for over a year, and I'll be adding some more over the holidays! I guess it's obvious that right now, I'm reading ebooks before the paperback/hardcover. Soon, all my fiction and non-fiction will be an ebook, and that will leave my children's picture books and pop-ups the only ones I buy to place on a shelf.