Sunday, June 29, 2008

I normally don't read this crap

But, this headline caught my attention on MSN this morning. "I 'settled' for my wife and now she wants to have a baby."

Well, that flew up my ass and turned sideways, I can tell you that. So, then I read the article. Is there a bigger jerk in all the world? You'd have a hard time convincing me.

I have to admit though, Dr. Gail Saltz handled it professionally and ended up putting "Mr. Perfect" into his place fairly well.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

I feel pretty ...

oh so pretty! I feel pretty and witty and ... What?! No, sorry I don't feel gay. LOL

Sorry, I haven't been getting a lot of sleep lately. I've been working on the next book in my series and really throwing myself into it. It's going great, but it's time I took a nap. When you're starting to sing "I feel pretty" you really should take a break. hahahaha

Plus, I'll be teaching a writing class in September and I've been reading over my lesson plans. More on that later:) But all you local (NW Florida) people who'd like to write a book, stay tuned!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Mirella Patzer - Featured Author

Please help me welcome Mirella Patzer to the blog today!

THK. Tell me about yourself. Anything you would like readers know about you.

My name is Mirella Patzer, and I'm first generation Italian Canadian. I love to read and write and cook. One day, I'd like to write a cookbook featuring some of the old Italian recipes handed down from generations. I live in Cochrane, Alberta, Canada which is just outside of Calgary and a short drive to the Canadian Rockies. I've been a manager at a local police department for 28 years, have met Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward, and have owned American Saddlebred horses.

THK. Tell me about your current and upcoming releases.

My current release is Bloodstone Castle. It is a medieval romantic suspense and can be purchased on and book sellers. For an autographed copy that comes with a little bag of Italian candies and an actual bloodstone, visit my website at:

THK. What genre do you write it? What drew you to write in that genre?

At this stage of my writing career, I've only written historical fiction. Years of research have kept me writing in the 10th century. However, once I complete a trilogy of books in that era, I'd like to branch out into historical westerns and family sagas. I love the medieval period because life was brutal back then and there is lots of opportunity to learn. But I'd love to write westerns because I live only a 20 minute drive away from Heritage Park in Calgary, an authentic, large historical village complete with bakery, dentist office, barns, mills, forts, etc. I love it there and can easily disappear for hours. With such fabulous research right at my doorstep, I can't wait to start, but only after I complete my current works in progress.

THK. How many books have you written? How many have been published?

I have been very fortunate, because everything I've written, has been published. My first novel, Heinrich the Fowler, was published in 2004. I have had 3 short stories published. And now, I'm so fortunate to have Bloodstone Castle published and released by Enspiren Press.

THK. What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?

Hm, well, I collect book marks. I keep them all in a mug and when I read, I change my book mark. I also have a quirky way to choose the next novel I want to read from my book shelf by counting to the seventh book after the surname of the last author's book I read. How's that for quirky!

THK. What is the hardest part of writing?

I find the hardest part of writing is completing the first draft. I find it much easier to polish and edit, because that's when I add the descriptions, scenery, and little details that bring a scene to life.

THK. What do you read for fun when you’re not writing?

My bookshelf is full of historicals from some of my favourite authors such as Elizabeth Chadwick, Christopher Gortner, Sharon Kay Penman, Michael Ennis, Wilbur Smith, Pauline Gedge, to name just a few.

THK. Any words of encouragement for unpublished writers?

I recommend that you join and participate diligently in a critique group. I prefer on-online groups with Yahoo. Critique groups help authors see what they themselves are blind to and help authors polish their work. The final product is much more professional with far fewer errors. Often, published authors and editors participate in these groups, so it's a way to get free editing through reciprocation. This will help increase your chances for publication.

Links where you can find out more about Mirella and her books.

Monday, June 23, 2008

What I'm working on

People ask me fairly often what I do when I'm not writing. The truth is, I'm very seldom doing anything else. But the few moments I do have, I like to do something I consider fun. See, writing to me is fun. It's my ultimate escape and at the same time, my most fulfilling form of work. It's my creative outlet. It's what keeps me from going insane. If I didn't write, I'd just be a regular nutter, I suppose. LOL

So, right now, I just turned in book 4 in my series, Original Sin, to my editor. I'm almost finished editing (to my own specifications) book 5, A Dream Forbidden. (I point out that this edit is for myself because I'm much harder on me than an editor ever has been. Sometimes I'm my biggest fan, but mostly I'm my worst critic.)

As soon as I'm finished with that (in the next day or so) I'll send in book 5 and within the next week, start book 6, The Bleeding Heart. So far, I've got a 3 page outline for book 6:) After that, I've got a few ideas I'm playing with. I'll end up writing them all, I've just got to decide which one to write first:)

So .... that's what I'm up to.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Shelley Munro - Featured Author

From the moment I saw an article in the New Zealand Herald about sightings of a mystery black cat in Canterbury, South Island, I knew it would make a good story. I cut out the article and kept it for about three years while I wrote about other things such as talking dogs, aliens and military men. It wasn’t until I saw a human interest story on our local television about a small South Island town called Middlemarch that I recalled the cat article. Evidently, the town of Middlemarch had a severe shortage of females and to help the young farmers and other men in the area find partners, the town intended to organize a dance.

The two ideas blended inside my head and a story idea bloomed about a community of leopard shifters who lived in Middlemarch and suffered from a shortage of women of marriageable age.

The first book in the series, Scarlet Woman, was one of the most difficult stories I’ve ever written. It started life as a short story. My editor liked it but thought there was too much story for the length I’d written. She suggested that I lengthen it, which I did, although my characters kicked up a fuss. So did my muse. I’m pleased I persevered because it’s now one of my favorite stories.
This week I finished writing the seventh book in my Middlemarch Mates series. I’m not sure why I enjoy writing about feline shifters so much. Maybe it’s because my husband isn’t a cat fan and we have a dog instead. My cat of choice is the black leopard, although I have introduced a brother and sister in Stray Cat Strut who are lion shifters.

Here are a few leopard facts:

Leopards are the most widespread of all big cats.
They are also the most secretive.
They live in different habitats ranging from rocky country to savannah lands and forests.
Leopards are nocturnal and hunt at night.
They usually sleep all day in a tree.
Their spotted coat is excellent camouflage in the patchwork of light and shade in the forest.
A leopard’s spots are actually small rosettes.
Leopards are loners and only come together to mate.
The mother brings up the cubs until they can fend for themselves.
They are built for bursts of speed and for climbing trees.
They have strong jaws, chests and front legs and can move an animal as big as themselves.
Leopards like to ambush their prey, waiting in a tree for an animal to walk underneath.
Leopards drag their meals up into trees to keep it safe.
Black leopards are often called panthers. They are the same species, but their spots are hidden. They are more common in Asia.

In my Middlemarch series, I’ve taken some of the above facts to use in my stories and also given my own personal twist. Middlemarch leopards mate for life and they are a close knit community. They’re alpha characters but are putty in the hands of the right woman. The first three stories are currently available from Ellora’s Cave with the fourth story, Assassin due out on 6 August.

Cat and Mouse, the fifth story is due out in October 2008. To read excerpts, visit my website at and to learn about the real town of Middlemarch, where the dance takes place on a yearly basis because the first was so successful go here.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

I couldn't sleep, so I thought I'd write

Have you ever had something consume you to the point that it also consumes your dreams? When I sleep, I dream of the work I could be doing. And when I'm awake I feel like I should be working on my next book.

I love to write, it's my passion. But sometimes just like fire, passion can burn. You know the expression that money is "burning a hole" through your pocket? Meaning you just have to spend it.

Well, this series ... it burns. Except I guess you could say the hole is in my mind. LOL Gee, that sounds great. I've probably just invented a new form of psychosis with that explanation. HA!

The point is, I simply have to get it on paper. I should finish edits on book five soon and hopefully begin writing book six within the next couple of weeks. Maybe then I can get some sleep.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Mandy Roth and Michelle Pillow - Featured Authors

I'd like to welcome Mandy Roth and Michelle Pillow to the blog today! Thanks for being here ladies:)

Thanks for having us here today!!!

What’s the best part about being a writer?

Mandy: I'm no longer considered a freak in my community. Now I'm just eccentric.

Michelle: Being paid to do what I love. That feeling you get when someone's liked your hard work and tells you.

Did the two of you always want to be writers?

Michelle: I wanted to be a 'starving artist' photographer living in in New York City. However, I met my husband (who was accepted into chef school) and he fed me. I never made it to New York. But really, with being fed great food daily, I’m fine with that.

Mandy: I’d never given any thought to writing prior to doing it. My chosen profession was art/marketing. I got bored one night and started a book. By the end of the month, I had Daughter of Darkness done. I’m waiting for the feeling like an author to kick in. So far, I’m having too much doing it to consider it work.

How do each of you handle research for you books? Is it important to you?

Mandy: I'm a closest geek. I'll spend more hours basing names, locations of fictional worlds off variation and combinations of actual terms than I would if I just made something up. My first job was at one of the public libraries here and I've always respected all that they offer to the community. Prior to acquiring a large mass of my own material, I went there daily. My next stop is the library system online. They offer journal material for free and it's accurate. After that, it's author friends, family and so on. Last is internet itself.

Michelle: I love research. I over research and I'm addicted by buying research books. And if it’s about anything historical—forget about it.

How does co-writing your joints work for the two of you?

Mandy: Somehow we manage to switch gears to adjust to one another. If I’m cranky (very rare, Michelle is always cranky…ouch) then she’s calm. The reverse is also true. So far, she’s talked me off three ledges, two bellhops and a partridge in a pear tree. I’ve only managed to get her to leave the lights on in her bedroom long enough to find her pajamas before she dives under the covers hoping no one saw her. LOL

Michelle: Well, I’m the sane one, which helps. Which naturally means Mandy’s insane *batting Mandy’s hands away* and a pest, and had this fetish for muphfumupfhmffph…

Mandy’s Links

Michelle’s Links

The Raven
Radio Show,
Recipe for Disaster by Michelle M. Pillow

Coming in Trade Paperback, June 10, 2008!

Aspiring chef, Zoe Matthews has lost her job and all hopes of a satisfying future. If that wasn¢t bad enough, she¢s just publicly shot down her one and only chance at culinary redemption. Restaurant mogul, Jackson Levy is determined to teach the rude city-slicker a lesson in manners. What she thinks will be a head chef position at one of his fancy restaurants turns out to be a small town diner. Can this city girl and a country boy find common ground? Or is this just a recipe for disaster?

Preorder/Buy link –

Coverart Link -

Daughter of Darkness: Bella Mia by Mandy M. Roth
Coming June 2008

The third book in the Daughter of Darkness series.

Will be for sale at:

Coverart link -

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Once upon a time

Isn't that just the most perfect anticipatory statement? When I hear those words I instantly think about fairy tales. Princes who don't act like princesses and knights in shining armor. Holy shit, I've got to stop reading Shakespeare before I write something. LOL

I've been working on books four and five in my werewolf hunter series and I'm really sleepy right now. I'm probably rambling, but I need to take the time to work while I have it. I also needed to take five, so here I am:)

I wrote both books last year and am just now getting around to doing edits before I send them to my editor. I've finished editing book four (Original Sin) and am now reading it out loud to a friend of mine as a final check.

I'm also working on editing book five (A Dream Forbidden) and the scene I was just working on was breaking my heart, so I'm taking a break. Don't worry, it's not really sad. This one scene was just weepy in a romantic "oh my God I wish I could get my hands on him" sort of way. LOL

Well, I'd best get back to work. Good night:)

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

The Dread Moon is on sale at Fictionwise!

The Dread Moon has just been released at Fictionwise and is on sale for 15% off!

Lilith's reputation as the best in the business has spread, and not just to the lycanthrope population. She's just been hired to find the original vampire. The vamps want what everyone else wants, equality. However, she will soon realize that the original vampire isn't just out for blood, or the return of rights to his people ... he wants Lilith too.

You can purchase The Dread Moon here:

Happy Reading,


Monday, June 9, 2008

Michelle M. Pillow - Featured Author

Recipe for Disaster by Michelle M. Pillow

Release: June 10, 2008

Publisher: Virgin Books/Random House
ISBN-10: 0352341777
ISBN-13: 978-0352341778

Aspiring chef, Zoe Matthews has lost her job and all hopes of a satisfying future. If that wasn’t bad enough, she’s just publicly shot down her one and only chance at culinary redemption. Restaurant mogul, Jackson Levy is determined to teach the rude city-slicker a lesson in manners. What she thinks will be a head chef position at one of his fancy restaurants turns out to be a small town diner. Can this city girl and a country boy find common ground? Or is this just a recipe for disaster?

Buy / Preorder Link:

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Sapphire Phelan - Featured Author

Thanks to Tracey Kitts for letting me blog here today.
Today I like to talk about writing urban fantasies, both with romance and without. I wrote one, Being Familiar with a Witch that I submitted to Phaze, that hopefully will be out in 2009.. It is set in a city, and has paranormal elements in it, like a witch, and also demons, in particular, a demonic hero.

Urban fantasies have become popular, not just with fans of science fiction, fantasy and horror, but also with those who read romance. They are a sublet of contemporary fantasy, with a sprinkle of urban grittiness. The modern urban fantasy protagonist will face extraordinary circumstances as the plots unfold in where magic or paranormal events are commonly accepted to exist or where magical powers or creatures are concealed. Urban fantasy takes a metaphorical idea of many conflicting elements that is a city and weaves it into a literary framework with typically one central conflict. It is rock and roll, where fantasy is classical music and dark fantasy is Goth. It is more than battles between the world of Faerie and humans in a fantastical world, this time the battles are dropped into the mean streets of places like Chicago, London, New York, L.A., and San Diego. You name a city, and you might find fairies and werewolves hiding out in supermarkets and the clothing department at Wal-Mart’s. The heroine or hero can be a kick-ass type, or an ordinary woman or man.

Modern urban fantasy can be traced as far back as the 1920s (particularly in the field of children's fiction), it was in the 1980s that the term became widely used among adult fantasy writers and readers--and that the form grew in popularity to become a sub-genre of its own.

Pioneers of this genre were:

Charles de Lint—Moonheart and the Newford series, plus other books of his.
Emma Bull—War for the Oaks
John Crowley—Little, Big
Megan Lindholm a.k.a. Robin Hobb—Wizard of the Pigeons
Jonathan Carroll—The Land of Laughs
Matt Ruff—Fool on the Hill
Terri Windling in her role as editor of the Ace Books fantasy line and as creator of the Borderlands series.

Since then, others to enter this field range from Laura K. Hamilton to China Mieville to Neil Gaiman to Jim Butcher to Kelley Armstrong to Jeri Smith-Ready and many more. Television and Films too have entered the urban fantasy field with Beauty and Beast (I watched this one faithfully back in the ‘80s) Dresden Files, Blood Ties, Moonlight, The Crow, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel, Big Trouble in Little China, Supernatural, Neverwhere, and more every day.

So now with summer upon us and the beach beckoning, or even your own back yard or air conditioned house/apartment, why not check out some urban fantasy from your local library. Or buy some from a bookstore in town, or download from an e-publisher or Fictionwise or Amazon?

Beware though, the next time you head downtown and walk the mean streets of the city to your favorite bar. There just might be a vampire or a ghost or even an ogre hidden in that dark alley you have to pass. Maybe even a vortex. Just be prepared for adventure.

Sapphire Phelan is an author of erotic and sweet paranormal, fantasy, and science fiction romance. She also writes as Pamela K. Kinney, for horror, fantasy, science fiction, and a nonfiction ghost book, Haunted Richmond, Virginia. She lives in Virginia with her husband and two cats, Ripley and Baste. You can find out more about her and what she has or will be coming out at her website:

Check out her MySpace at,
her blog at,
and subscribe to her newsletter at .

She admits she can always be found at her desk and on her computer, writing. And yes, the house and husband sometimes suffers for it!

Sapphire Phelan's Backlist

"Jack"-Sinister Tales Magazine, Issue #1
“Wedded Magic”—LoveYouDivine:

"Costumed Scare" and "Full Moon Lover" (Poems) in Phaze in Verse—Phaze:

"Old Friends" in December 2007 PDF issue of Cobblestone Press Quarterly:

“To Teach an Ancient God”—free read from Romance All eBooks :

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

The Red Light Special, an unedited excerpt from Original Sin

I thought I'd share a little bit of the next book in the Lilith Mercury: Werewolf Hunter Series. This is the one I'm polishing up right now. Enjoy!

I call this excerpt The Red Light Special.

Dracula, who was still standing beside me with his hand on my lower back, began to explain. “Bade works for me.” I looked a question at him and he continued, “Part time anyway.”

“What does he do exactly?” I asked.

“I’m the on the menu,” Bade replied. “For the vampires at least,” he said quickly after the look I gave him. “You see, I like to be bitten, and alpha werewolf is quite the delicacy.”

“You’re on the menu?” I repeated sarcastically.

“That’s right, love. I’m the red light special.”

“We’ve got to stop meeting like this,” I said. Even as I spoke I could feel the smile reaching my eyes. Why did I suddenly have warm fuzzy feelings for Bade? He winked at me then and I decided I didn’t care enough to analyze it right now. Whatever the cause, it felt good to return his smile.

“At least this time we’ve got clothes on,” he teased. His pale blue eyes gleamed with mischief as he extended his big hand to Kat. “The names Bade Garren.” He smiled. “And who might you be?”

She took his hand but seemed beyond speech. Seeing as how Bade was one of the most gorgeous men I’d ever laid eyes on, I couldn’t blame her. However, I felt I should intervene.

“This is my friend Kathryn Roberts,” I said as I leaned in close. It must have looked like I was hugging him, or coping a feel, but in a voice so soft only he could hear I whispered, “If you touch her, I’ll kill you.”

I pulled back to find him smiling. As he released Kat’s hand, I took a step away from Dracula and moved closer to the werewolf. I ran my hands inside the open front of his shirt, and caressed his chest. The sensation was much more pleasurable than I had remembered. The last time Bade and I had any sort of contact, someone had driven a large wooden pole through the right side of his chest. It had been the first time I’d used my powers to heal anyone other than myself. I had felt his desire then, and I could feel it now as I touched him. Desire coursed through his veins, running hot just like his blood.

Up until this moment I had felt slightly threatened by Bade. I knew he wanted to hurt me, but in a good way. Now, as I stood there with my hands inside his shirt, I was nearly overcome. He was so warm and firm underneath my hands. I could feel his muscles shifting with each breath as I moved my hands to touch his sides. His breathing grew faster and I fought the urge to press my lips against his chest. I could tell people were starting to watch us, but I didn’t care. I was no longer frightened of Bade. As a low growl escaped my lips I wondered if he should fear me.

“I see you finished healing,” I said softly as I moved my hand over the left side of his chest to find his silver nipple ring. Bade always wore a silver stud through his left nipple, and I had bitten it off the first time we met.

I’m not sure what came over me when I touched him. It could have been the full moon and the fact that he’s an alpha werewolf. It could have been the fact that I’d gone so long without sex. Maybe it was just that I got hornier around the full moon also, but most likely, it was just Bade.

I leaned in closer and breathed in his scent as I rubbed my face from his stomach to the middle of his chest. That was as far as I could reach, even in heels. He moaned as I continued to rub my face over the fine blond hairs on his chest, and when I flicked my tongue over his nipple ring, he wasn’t the only one who gasped.

I pulled back and smiled shamelessly at an ancient vampire sitting to our right. He didn’t look ancient, but there was something about him that told me otherwise.

“It’s awfully good to see you, Bade,” I purred in my best bedroom voice.