Wednesday, December 31, 2008

A Year In Review

2008 has been an interesting year. Lots of ups and downs and some downs that were kind of up. My writing career progressed well.

My writing year in review:

PAST LIES was released in April. (Ellora's Cave) This was my 2007 NaNoWriMo novel.
Wrote novella LONGING FOR ETERNITY. Released July. (Book 3 Eternity series-Ellora's Cave)
Finished novella A HELPING HAND. Started in 2006! Released August. (Ellora's Cave)
Wrote novella DOUBLE HAPPINESS for another publisher and was rejected. Revised a little and sold to Ellora's Cave. Released October.
Wrote and sold a short story for Black Lace. THE SHOPPING LIST is in the SEDUCTION anthology. Release date Feb 09 UK/Apr 09 US.
Wrote and submitted another short story for Black Lace. Waiting for response.
Wrote and sold novella POSITIVE POSSIBILITIES. Release date February 4. (Ellora's Cave)
Wrote and sold novella HIDDEN HANDS. Waiting on edits. (Ellora's Cave)
Wrote and submitted novella FIGHTING FOR ETERNITY (Book 4 Eternity series-Ellora's Cave) Waiting for response.
Wrote 17k of new novella. Target Ellora's Cave.
Working on revisions of short story rejected by Spice for Ellora's Cave.
Worked on worldbuilding for a scifi series.
Did several false starts for Harlequin Blaze submission. I can't seem to strike a story that works. Maybe because I've been writing much hotter than Blaze.

The evil day job was a pain because there just wasn't enough work. I hated spending the day sitting in front of a computer with nothing to do. The days drag on that way. So it really wasn't much of a surprise when lay offs were discussed in October. The boss' evil boss and I came to an agreement. I took the severance and ran. My eventual goal of writing fulltime came way sooner than I expected but I looked at it as a blessing in disguise. Not having a day job, I could concentrate on writing and see if I have what it takes to make it as a writer. Yes, my poor savings would probably be reduced some but I was okay with that.

For October and November, I did really well at keeping a schedule and making sure I hit word counts. Didn't make NaNoWriMo this year because I was concentrating on novellas instead of a longer title. December I kind of crashed a little. With the holidays approaching, I was distracted. Still I managed a decent word count plus I've been mulling over a scifi concept for a good part of the month.

Heath-wise, life was interesting and filled with blessed relief. I had a lung cancer scare. Between CAT scans, PET scan and a lung biopsy, the pulmonary specialist said it wasn't cancer but an infection. We have to keep an eye on it for a while. Shortly after the relief of those results, I found out my thyroid wasn't working. Doc said hyperthyroidism. An ultrasound didn't reveal any additional problems so I'm on yet another pill for the rest of my life. But if that's the worst of it, I'm happy. It's not like I don't already take a bunch of pills! LOL

So as the end of the year approached, and the severance ran out, I started feeling a little paranoid about the budget. I knew I could make it but I abhor stealing from savings to live. The deductibles on the extra doctor bills pretty much guaranteed I would have to dip into the piggy bank. Then I hear from my counterpart at the old day job. She's found another job and was leaving the week of Christmas.

I was torn hearing the news. Thrilled for her, mind you! She had an hour and a half commute and her new job was ten minutes from her house. But what did this mean for me? I taught her most of the stuff she did and I'm collecting unemployment on this company. Legally, they could call me back full-time. If I refused, I'd lose my unemployment. Not that I thought my old boss would do that but hey, it's the company's right.

In the end, I called her and offered to come back part-time. We worked out terms, pay, hours, etc. For the most part, I'll work the first part of the month to close the books. The rest of the month, I'll be off with time to write. Plus it gets me out of the house some and the extra money will help me with the doctor bills! And I'm beginning to have a little cabin fever. *cackle* She doesn't really need someone full-time. I should be able to train some of the other staff for part of the responsibilities. The work may dwindle off or may end up just a week a month. What happens remains to be seen.

I dread the commute again. It's an hour trip one way on a back country highway. Then I tell myself to look on the bright side. I get a lot of good writing ideas during long drives. Need to make sure my voice recorders have good batteries!

So 2008 was full of the unexpected and it looks like 2009 probably won't change much. But that's okay. Life is an adventure and I don't want to know the end of the book before I've read it.

May your 2009 bring all your dreams home to roost! Happy New Year!

Friday, December 26, 2008

A Christmas Miracle!

I have a very peculiar cat named Princess. She's a tiny cat--about five pounds soaking wet with the loudest, most demanding meow I've ever heard. Twice I've had to take her to the vet for snake bites. She has a thing about running water, as in she fights me for the sink when I turn on the water. She feels it is her right to drink from the faucet instead of the *sniff* water bowl.

A few months ago, Princess disappeared for a couple of days. I'd stand outside and call her but to no avail, she wouldn't come home. Since the vet believes she's about 15 years old, each disappearance makes me think she won't be back. Cats have a tendency to wander off to die. But after a few days, she'd show back up looking none the worse for a few nights out in the elements. (No, she's not catting around, she's fixed!) Momma and I started joking about Princess' "other" family. The people she must be staying with when she wasn't here.

So a week or so ago when the weather turned off very cold, I hadn't seen her in a couple of days. No amount of calling or tramping around the neighborhood brought her home. Then a heavy sleet hit. It looked like we had several inches of snow but it was all ice and still no Princess. I couldn't get out to look for her because the ice was terrible and I had no idea where to look! So I worried and went to the living room window or the front door and called her a couple of times an hour. I told Momma I didn't think she'd come back.

So the day after the ice storm I tramp around--more like slip and slide around--looking for her or her poor frozen body. I headed off in one direction I'd seen her go--out of many but you have to start somewhere. Through a little patch of woods, there is a duplex facing the highway a block away. Near the duplex was a couple of storage sheds. I'd seen Princess over by the sheds before so I thought maybe she'd gotten locked inside one. Both sheds had latches and I didn't want to get caught rummaging through someone's property. I went around to the closest side of the duplex and knocked on the door.

A woman answered and I asked her if she'd seen a little black and white cat hanging around. She said wait a minute, disappeared for a minute then returned with Princess. Evidently Princess had been coming over there on a regular basis for months. The last time her mouth was messed up by a snake bite, she was getting special food from me and kitten milk and canned food from them. I told the woman and her teenage daughter that I didn't mind if Princess stayed over there. I was just worried when she didn't come home during the storm.

Now, I have seven cats, if you count Princess, and giving one away to someone willing to spoil a cat properly should be a good thing. And they knew how to spoil cats from the look of their other two. But it still pained me to lose Princess and I kept hoping she'd decide to come home. So a week goes by without seeing her little face or hearing her big meow. Until Wednesday.

Princess showed up, crying for food and demanding the water faucet be turned on for her personal use. I complied but I was supposed to pick up Momma to go shopping so I had to leave. When I got back, Princess wasn't around. I pouted for a little while. About six Wednesday evening, she showed up again and this time she stayed. Christmas Eve, yesterday, last night and today. Right now, she's perched on the back of the beddesk behind my laptop.

I told my mother it was a Christmas miracle. She suggested that Princess' new family had left town for the holidays. And damn if the last four times I've driven past their house, their car was gone. Momma's probably right. *cackle* But for now, all my critters are safe, sound, well fed, and happy with me.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Happy Holidays!

Have a very Merry Cristmas, Happy Holidays, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Yule, Happy Kwanzaa...

Whatever you celebrate or don't, I hope this season brings you joy, health, love, happiness and peace.

Monday, December 22, 2008

A Cold & Lazy Monday!

Well, I guess instead of bitching about the horribly cold weather, I could be happy I didn' t have to go anywhere today! Talked to my friend at the old day job. The temp was 15 when she left her house this morning. When she left her house, I was curled up under the covers with a dog keeping my feet warm and two cats sleeping on my side!

I did get about 600 words done today. Not much but more than yesterday!

I have some crazy ideas bouncing around for a new series but I have to work through some issues with it. Like, do I want it to be something to sub mainstream or gay, erotic or not. I'm finally thinking of doing something scifi. I mean, I've been a scifi geek since I was a child watching the original run of Star Trek (Yes, the original series--I'm really old.) You'd think I would have attempted something scifi by now. The closest I came to scifi was submitting a synopsis and sample chapters to an open call to Fandemonium Books in 2004 for the Stargate SG1 books. Still haven't gotten a rejection for that! Not really counting on hearing from them at this point.

I'm off to bed now. I'm aiming for at least 2k words tomorrow.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

New Sale!

My Ellora's Cave editor made an offer on my gay romance novella, HIDDEN HANDS. Woo hoo! Snoopy dancing here!

Unedited Blurb:

Detective Jeremy Lawson doesn’t expect anything from his one night stand except sex. What he gets is a shooting, a mystery plus some of the best sex he’s had in a long time. Somewhere along the way, he also finds some tenderness for a lost soul in need of rescuing.

David March has let his troubled past blind him to any kind of happy future. But when a one night stand turns out to be a cop in shining armor, David begins to think differently about his life. As in, he wants one. But to have one, he has to stay alive.

(For those of you who asked for the story of some of my secondary characters, Jeremy is from A HELPING HAND and David is from HIDDEN FORCE. Two for the price of one! *cackle*)

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Oh, crap...

I'm the first to admit I'm a bit of a snob when it comes to television. I watch few shows regularly but, I've always claimed with much pride, I absolutely do not watch those trashy reality shows! At least not until now. *hangs head in shame*

I blame Twitter. I'm not sure who on Twitter. I need to go back and figure out who made the comment about Top Chef. Something to do with someone said something about the Today Show host's lack of taste--as in an unsophisticated pallet. I had to check this out and I became hooked. Since Bravo replays all the episodes during the week, I've caught up on this season. I also watched another season of reruns.

Now I can't help myself. If I'm channel surfing and see "Top Chef" on the online guide, I'm there! I'm addicted to a reality show complete with the over the top dramatic music, the long (meant to be) suspenseful pauses and the back biting bitchiness of the contestants and sometimes the judges. ARGH!! Yes, I need to figure out who posted that comment on Twitter and then use the vodoo doll on them!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Busy Week!

I hope everyone had fabulous Thanksgiving--or Thursday depending on where you live. I had a blast at Momma's with my insane sibs and their offspring. Food was wonderful as usual. You can't go wrong with my mother and sister in the kitchen.

It was a really busy week. We not only had Thanksgiving Day, we had a day before TD meal as well. The oldest niece couldn't make it up on Thursday because she had to work. So sis put together ribs and all the fixin's on Wednesday. The eldest niece brought a few friends. I think we scared them but that's okay. They seemed to have a good time anyway.

Monday and Tuesday I had to go work for the old day job. The auditors were in for preliminary work. Since I helped with some of the major transactions last year, my former boss wanted me there in case there were questions. I remembered just how much I did not like the early morning thing with long commute. Blech!

Needless to say, the writing suffered this week. I'm not going to make my NaNo. My combined word count for the month was almost 26k words--and that was on several projects. Plus I had a couple of stories to revise and get ready for submissions--blurbs, synopses, etc. As much as I hate missing NaNo, getting stories submitted is more beneficial to my bottom line than NaNo bragging rights.

So now I have three stories subbed to Ellora's Cave and one short story subbed to Black Lace. *crosses fingers, toes and eyes* I'm about halfway through two more stories targeted at EC. I stalled on the one I was working (currently known as FS) on so I switched to another abandoned WIP (also known as OOC). I'll probably bounce between the two until they are done. Although OCC has caught my attention rather well this week. I might actually finish it first.

I spent part of the day with my critique partner, Cynthia D'Alba, and another writer friend, Shada Royce, at Starbucks in Little Rock. We had a write in from 9 to about 1 then went to lunch at IHOP. I did pretty good with OOC while I was there. I edited to make it more specifically targeted at EC--meaning I went from a M/F/M story to a M/M/F menage with an extra M in there somewhere. *cackle* The original story was rejected by Spice Brief earlier this year. I was going to make it longer and send it to EC as a M/F/M story. However, my wicked little brain took a left turn and I ended up revising much more than I planned. Plus I added some. I had about 1600 additional words and the old story completely revised by the time we finished up at Starbucks. I came home and did about 1000 words more. Now, I'm off to bed. Long day and I'm tired.

Plus, I have to get up in the morning! It's the last Sunday of the month and you know what that means! Yes, I'll be joining Delilah Devlin and Myla Jackson at the Ellora's Cave Readers Yahoo Loop. The emails will be flying from 8-4 Central US time. Lots of excerpts to post plus games and prizes! Stop by and check us out at You join the email loop and either have the emails sent to you or you can read and post online at the Yahoo Group page.

The word count meters for the week:

FS (Stalled)


Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Blogging at Liquid Silver!

Stop by and tell me what you are thankful for! You'll be entered in a drawing for a download of one of my ebooks!

Hope to see you there!

Saturday, November 22, 2008


It got cold in Arkansas! Yesterday morning we had our first hard freeze! The high never got out of the 40's! This is February weather, not November! This morning is still in the 30's with the high forecasted at only 50. Brrrrr... I have three cats vying for my lap. Glennie has taken the spot beside me and Romeo won the actual lap spot. Rusty keeps pacing around me, hoping to scare off Romeo. Not likely, Romeo will fight for attention.

I'm running behind in word counts again this week. Had a few interuptions such as a doc appointment on Monday and Momma's eye doc appointment on Friday. She had to have her eyes dialated so she needed a driver. And a walker. I had to keep her from running into things!

Back to the writing... Only about 3800 words of new stuff. My critique partner sent back Eternity 4 with her comments. I've made one pass through on the simple things. I'm getting ready to work through the harder questions. As soon as I get a fresh cuppa java and tap up the thermostat. It's a little chilly in here!

After I finish with her comments, I have to write the synopsis and a blurb. And then the hard part...a title! I suck at titles! LOL Wish me luck. Or give me a suggestion! The books in the series are 1) The Cost of Eternity, 2) The Rememdiu then 3) Longing for Eternity. I know, the second book didn't have "Eternity" in the title but when I wrote it, I really wasn't planning a series, it was just a sequel. Then I managed to set up the third book and voila...a series. So now, I'd like to continue the "Eternity" thing if at all possible. Especially since book four does set up a book five! I really don't do this intentionally! LOL

Word meter for the week...

Old WIP for EC

Hopefully, I'll get more written this weekend. I don't have any plans for the weekend except writing. Of course, synopses usually take me forever!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Another Boring Progress Update!

Except I don't have much progress to report! The last week has zipped past me in a blur with a conference, a lunch "meeting", doctor appointments and heating pads.

Last Saturday I went to a writers conference in Maumelle. Not exactly an RWA function but I did it more as a tax deductable excuse to spend the day with Cynthia D'Alba. I was suffering from withdrawal pains. LOL Cyndi lived close to my old evil day job. We'd have lunch usually once a week. Since I left the EDJ more than a month ago, I'd only had the chance to see her at our Diamond State Romance Authors meeting.

The writers conference didn't reveal any great secrets of writing. Then again, Cyndi and I snuck off during the first breakout session and brainstormed a book she's working on. The sessions we did attend really weren't applicable to the type of books we write so we ended up cutting out a little early. I had fun spending time with her and we made friends with a couple of people who might join DSRA.

Sunday was spent with Momma shopping! We snuck off and ate sushi without Lil Sis. I'm going to be in so much trouble if she reads my blog. Then again, we did call her on Thursday after my doctor appointment to go guessed it...sushi for lunch. I'm going to turn into raw fish one of these days. *cackle*

The lunch meeting on Monday was just another excuse to meet with writers. Cyndi was one of them but Melissa Francis and Shada Royce joined us for fabulous Mexican food and wonderful conversation! With humans! LOL I spend so much time at home alone with my animals, I've begun to meow and bark!

Doctor appointments were a pain. Thursday was a followup with the lung doc. Nothing to report. They took an xray and they are still waiting for some of the cultures on the infection. Friday was my regular annual checkup. Blech... Although Doc gave me something to help me sleep. We'll see how that works.

And heating pads... I spent part of Tuesday and most of Wednesday with a heating pad on my knee. Between Saturday, Sunday and Monday, on my feet, I was hurting.

So how much writing did I get done? Not a heck of a lot! LOL

Old WIP for EC

Wow! That's actually more than I thought since I last posted a progress meter! But 5k words in a week isn't a big deal when I was doing that in two days. *shrugs* Hopefully next week will be better... Then again, tomorrow is my DSRA meeting plus a NaNo meeting. Then Monday I'm back to the doc for a bone density test. Maybe next week will be better... *cackle*

Thursday, November 13, 2008

News & Reviews!

I've just finished updating my website with some news. I didn't realize I was so far behind on reviews! Ack! So here's a fast update of news and reviews!

First, I'm thrilled to announce the sale of a short story to Black Lace's Seduction Anthology! Black Lace is the oldest publisher of women's erotica. (And it has a deliciously sexy editor in the form of Adam Neville. *cackle*) I'm in the antho with galpal Shada Royce and Black Lace veteran Portia Da Costa! Shada and I challenged each other to submit to the antho and we both made it!

New Sale! The Shopping List in Seduction: A Collection of Naughtiness From Black Lace

A shopgirl finds a man and woman helping themselves to the privacy of her store’s fitting room. She’s fascinated at the sexual freedom of the couple—something she longs for but can’t find the strength to do—until they catch her watching and invite her into their closeted playground. But what will her boyfriend do when he catches her in a threesome?

Available February 2009 - UK & April 2009 - US

Available for Pre-order at or

And the reviews...

Ellora's Cave


Deputy Sheriff Rich Taylor has many secrets. His sexuality is only the top of the list. Even his best friend Dan doesn’t know Rich is gay. For good reason. His feelings for Dan are more than friendship. When Dan’s injured, the thought of losing him forces Rich to admit his years-long lust has turned to love.

An accident turns State Trooper Dan Fletcher’s life, and his car, upside down. With his right hand out of commission, he has to rely on his best friend for his basic—sometimes intimate—needs. After spending most of his life looking for the right woman, he begins to wonder if he’s been looking at the wrong gender—an impossible concept in their small-minded world.


Joyfully Reviewed
Rating: Joyfully Recommended!
Reviewer: Ley

Excerpt of Review:

"A Helping Hand is another terrific story from Shayla Kersten. Dan and Rich’s fears and concerns toward the new territory they were entering were so real and very understandable, especially Dan’s. ... I enjoyed A Helping Hand immensely..."

Read the whole review.


Fallen Angels
Rating: 5 Angels
Reviewer: Hayley

Excerpt of Review:

"This book was well written, raised some interesting questions, and had some really good characters. Dan and Rich are great, even as I found myself not liking either character at times. I wanted to scream at them both to get over themselves and open their eyes at times, but in the end I don’t think Shayla Kersten could have done it any better. ... I can give this one no less than 5 Angels!"

Read the whole review.


Sensual Ecataromance
Rating: 4.5 Stars
Reviewer: Kimberley Spinney

Excerpt of Review:

"A Helping Hand is an absolutely fabulous read by an exciting author. Shayla Kersten has a gift. Her words jump off the pages in a vivid show of emotion and imagery. The characters are fabulous described and their story becomes all consuming. This book is definitely a must read."

Read the whole review.


Ellora's Cave


Chen Jin Tai faces the worst possible news only days from his commitment ceremony with his lover—Tai’s estranged mother is coming to the wedding. Unable to accept her son’s sexuality—she’s determined to have a daughter-in-law—Chen Qi Xiang’s visit is unexpected. Tai wants to believe she’s looking for reconciliation but he knows his lover’s attitude will be anything but optimistic.

David Anderson never thought about settling down until he literally bumped into Tai on the street. Before Tai, sex was for fun and love wasn’t an option. Now two years later, he can’t imagine life without his partner. Tai’s Ice Queen mother showing up with malice in mind could be the beginning of the end of the best thing in his life.

Two beautiful men, one tiny Chinese soon-to-be mother-in-law, a live cricket as a present and a red wedding dress. It’s about to be an interesting next few days and the men are going to learn a whole new level of sexual excitement.


Literary Nymphs
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Reviewer: Scandalous Minx

Excerpt of Review:

"Shayla Kersten shows us just the kind of mother who makes your spouse require bail money in Double Happiness. ... If you want to see a man earn the person he loves by fighting the good fight, then you will enjoy Double Happiness."

Read the whole review.


Sensual Ecataromance
Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewer: Kimberley Spinney

Excerpt of Review:

"Shayla Kersten’s story is a delicious blend of humor, sassyness, passion, and love. This is a beautiful story and a highly recommended read. It proves that adversity can be overcome as long as one’s heart is in the right place. This is a four star work that I am highly recommending to lovers of the gay erotic romance."

Read the whole review.


From the blog of Elisa Rolle from Rosa is for Romance

Excerpt of Review:

"This is a classical light comedy, the type that, if it was a movie, you would go to see with your friends to enjoy a night with a smile."

Read the whole review.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Warning: Self-Indulgent Whining Ahead

I'm sucking at NaNo! *whine*

My NaNo novel totally does not interest me. At all. The plot is good, the idea unique, the characters good... I just don't want to write it. Instead, my muse has focused on an old idea I toyed with at the beginning of the year.

I'm seeing a pattern here. Several of the things I've finished lately were old projects. Seems like the muse wants to clean up the old "Ideas File". And there's a lot of stuff in there. And that's a good thing overall writing-wise. Just not so good for NaNo. But if the old "Ideas File" can come up with more stuff to sub to Ellora's Cave, then that's good for the bank account.

So I guess I'm whining for no reason. NaNo is a challenge that doesn't necessarily reap any benefits. Pushing myself to write a new project of 50k words in November just so I have some bragging rights doesn't stack up to writing things I know fit my current publisher.

I'm going to stop whining now and get some writing done. Whatever the project. Thank you for listening. *cackle*

Old WIP for EC

Pain-In-The-Posterior NaNo Novel

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

I Can Breathe Again...

I've watched the country I love and served sink deeper and deeper into a quagmire of lies, deceit and bad judgement...Iraq--a war we shouldn't have started, Afghanistan--a war we should have finished already and an economy out of control because of deregulation spurred on by greed.

Last night, I took the first deep breath in months as I watched the electoral map turn blue. I know the wrongs of the last eight years won't be fixed overnight--over even the next year or the next four years--but I feel we are stepping off in the right direction. And we'll get there. We Americans are nothing if not persistent.

Regardless of the history made by electing Senator Obama, I believe the bigger picture is we elected an intelligent, thinking man who knows how to surround himself with strong advisors and will listen to them and to the people who elected him.

I look forward to January 20th as the beginning of a new era.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Another one bites the dust...


Oh, excuse me. I'm a bit delirious... I finished Eternity 4. Finally. Only came up with the plot over a year ago. Started writing it months ago. And finally the block is gone and the story is done. At least for now. I think I'm going to go take a nap then I'll start self-edits this evening. I want to get it to my critique partner by tomorrow. Then I can start NaNo! Woo hoo!

I still don't have a title. I should call it "Took An Eternity". *cackle* Not sure my editor would agree. I need to do a synopsis and blurb. Come up with a name... I can get my CP to help with the title. Want it to have "Eternity" in the title. Book 1 and 3 do. Book 2 doesn't but I wasn't planning a series when I wrote that one.

So drum roll, please, while I wheel out the word meter!

I did 3657 words for today but a total of 15,964 in five days. I think I deserve a nap. And maybe a piece of that Halloween candy.


Not NaNo but it's a word count!

Didn't start NaNoWriMo. Not that I thought I would but I did get another 3206 on Eternity 4. Need another 2800 and I'm done. I should be able to knock that out tomorrow. Self-edits on Monday and ship it to my CP. Tuesday, start NaNo!! I'll need 5k on Tuesday to make up for lost time.

For now, I'm going to bed!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Progress but not enough...

Okay, for day one of NaNo, I'm not NaNoing. *cackle* Yesterday's word count didn't finish Eternity 4 so the plan is to keep on with it until I'm done. Hopefully tomorrow. I need 6k--doable in two days except today is Sushi Saturday. Once every few weeks, Momma and I go to Little Rock and meet Lil Sis for sushi then coffee. Today, my niece B is coming with Lil Sis. We should have a blast. We always do.

Halloween was quiet here. A storm blew through right before sundown so I had to bring the dogs in. With them in the house, I have trouble opening the door without escape attempts and raucous barking, snarling, etc. I turned off the lights and hid in the bedroom. *cackle* I could hear the cars on the street and there weren't many so I don't feel too guilty. However, now what do I do with all the candy? *guilty grin*

Hope everyone has a wonderful day!

Eternity 4 (Target Ellora's Cave)

Thursday, October 30, 2008


I stayed up late last night working on Eternity 4 (which really needs a real title). I took a couple of Tylenol PM's to help me sleep and they only worked for about four hours. I was awake a little before 4AM tossing and turning. Dozed off and on until the alarm around seven.

So stop with the whining... *cackle*

Any way, I met with Delilah Devlin online at nine for timed writing. We did a little brainstorming and voila! I have a plot for NaNo. I did a rough synopsis--almost an outline--and sent it to her. She thinks it'll fly. I think it'll fly. So I now have a NaNo plot. However....

I'm still making progress on Eternity 4! And I don't want to stop now! I'd be crazy to. If I can finish this and get it into EC, I'll have three submissions while I work on NaNo. So I put away the NaNo plot and kept plugging away at E4. I really wanted a nap this afternoon but I wouldn't let myself until I had at least 2k on E4. Since I'd spent a good part of the morning on the NaNo, the nap didn't happen. However, I'm wrapping up for now--probably for the day but I won't say that for sure--and I hit 3561 on E4. Add the 1061 I wrote on the NaNo outline, my word count today is 4622! Awesome!

And I think they were good words. Sometimes I get on a roll only to realize later I wrote a bunch of crapola. *cackle*

So the E4 meter, please.... *drum roll*

Eternity 4(Target Ellora's Cave)

I'm going to chill out for a little while. I might write some more later but for now, I need to get my butt out of this chair. I think it's gone to sleep...

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Plot Blockage!

ARGH! I can't wrap my brain around my NaNo plot! I finally gave up this afternoon and worked on an old work in progress--book 4 of the Eternity series. I stalled on it months ago and switched to another story. Since then, I've finished two novellas and two short stories. Today, I opened it up and read through the nearly 15k words I'd already written. Then the block for Eternity 4 opened up and the words started flowing! 2800 words to be precise! So now the challenge is to finish this story--which is supposed to be around 30k--before I start the NaNo story in two days! Plus figure out my NaNo plot!

I waiting for them to come and take me away! Who you say? The nice men in the little white coats, they're coming to take me away!

Eternity 4 (Target Ellora's Cave)

So I need like, 12k in two days? Okay, maybe four days. I could start my NaNo novel late. After all, I'm writing fulltime. I can get more words a day than just the 1667 needed for 50k in 30 days! But I still need a plot! ARGH! I also need some sleep. I'm meeting Delilah Devlin online at 9AM for timed writing.

Maybe I'll dream a plot for NaNo. Or maybe I'll just dream about the bloody swordfight I just wrote! Yikes!

I'm waiting on my critique partner to get back to me with Hidden Hands. She's also looking over the synopsis and blurb I wrote today. If I can finish Eternity 4, I'll have three submissions into EC while I work on something for Blaze. If I can think of a plot...

Playing Catch Up!

Wow, the days are flying by! Guess staying busy helps! And I have been a busy little bee! Last Thursday I finished up the read through and final self edits on Positive Possibilities (tentative title). I emailed the submission to my Ellora's Cave editor. Now the waiting starts. *cackle*

But I didn't stop there! The other work in progress is done! Woo hoo! My critique partner has done her first read through and loves the story. I only hope my Ellora's Cave editor feels the same way! Today, I need to work on the synopsis and blurb. The working title for this one is Hidden Hands. This is the story of David (from Hidden Force) and Jeremy (from A Helping Hand). So yes, I am being cute about the title. *snort* I want to get this in my editor's hands this week as well!

HIDDEN HANDS (Target Ellora's Cave)

I need to work on my NaNoWriMo plot. All I have at the moment is blurbage. Which is not much. I have most of the first scene set in my mind but I need at least 55k words worth of plot! I'm also wavering about my focus on this one. I can go one way, and make it a Harlequin Blaze submission or I can go another way and send it to Silhouette Romantic Suspense. The same basic idea works either way except one would have a few dead bodies and the other would just have nekkid bodies. *cackle-snort*

I need to call in the Brainstorming Gang sometime before the Saturday start of NaNo! And I need to get my bootay in motion this morning and get some work done! Plus it's exercise day so I'll miss some work time today!

Have a fabulous day!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

New Release! Double Happiness at Ellora's Cave!

I can't believe I forgot to post on Friday about the release of Double Happiness! This novella is my first attempt at something light hearted. I usually try to include some humor in my stories but they tend to stick with serious. Double Happiness has a little more humor while still covering serious aspects of my heroes' relationship! And it has an incredibly hot cover by Les Byerley!

Available at Ellora's Cave!


Chen Jin Tai faces the worst possible news only days from his commitment ceremony with his lover—Tai’s estranged mother is coming to the wedding. Unable to accept her son’s sexuality—she’s determined to have a daughter-in-law—Chen Qi Xiang’s visit is unexpected. Tai wants to believe she’s looking for reconciliation but he knows his lover’s attitude will be anything but optimistic.

David Anderson never thought about settling down until he literally bumped into Tai on the street. Before Tai, sex was for fun and love wasn’t an option. Now two years later, he can’t imagine life without his partner. Tai’s Ice Queen mother showing up with malice in mind could be the beginning of the end of the best thing in his life.

Two beautiful men, one tiny Chinese soon-to-be mother-in-law, a live cricket as a present and a red wedding dress. It’s about to be an interesting next few days and the men are going to learn a whole new level of sexual excitement.

Excerpts are on my website. Click here.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Long Time No Post?

Well, it feels like a long time! I didn't get a chance to update my progress for Friday--not that there was much. Friday slipped through my control. I wrote a little in the morning then went to my exercise class--where once again little old ladies kicked my ass. The afternoon was a combination of getting ready for my weekend trip and, yes, a nap.

Princess has been a pain through her recovery. Several times a night, I'm up checking on her. I hated going away for the weekend and leaving her but I couldn't change my plans. Momma was going to come over twice a day to feed, water and medicate.

The weekend was fun! Layla Chase flew in from San Antonio on Saturday morning. We attended the Diamond State Romance Author meeting. Layla is a long distance member. We met up with Delilah Devlin there. After the meeting, the three of us had lunch with Cynthia D'Alba and Melissa Frances. Major fun!

Making Lye SoapThen Delilah, Layla and I headed for north Arkansas and the Ozark Folk Center. Saturday night we attended a concert of bluegrass and folk music. Sunday, we wandered through the permanent exhibits which include soap making, sewing, quilting, blacksmithing and the making of musical instruments. We also toured through cabins common to the Ozark Mountains in the late 1800's/early 1900's. Amazing to see how our forefathers lived. I'm old enough to remember the cabin where my paternal grandparents lived. No indoor plumbing! Couldn't hack it then, definitely couldn't now! LOL

We had good food, great brainstorming and Layla found some great detail for a story she's setting in the park.

Once home on Monday, I realized Princess wasn't better. Neither my mother nor I could get the meds down her. Princess may be a little cat but she has the strength of a tiger when you try to force her to do something she doesn't want! So Tuesday, we were off to another vet visit. They gave her another shot of antibiotics. If I can't get the meds down her, I'll need to go back every other day for her to get a shot. The vet also recommended a special (read: expensive) brand of canned food. She said it was high calorie and cats really liked the flavor so I might have better luck getting her to eat--sore mouth or not.

Okay, so the Kitteh Krack (aka Hill's Prescription Diet A/D) is a big hit with her royal highness... Princess literally tried to climb my arm while I'm preparing her food. The stuff has a real silky texture like a very fine pate. Actually, for the price of it, I might as well feed her pate! This morning, I mixed her meds with the Kitteh Krack and she lapped it up then cleaned the plate. Woo hoo! A method of medicating! Of course, I'll need some more Kitteh Krack tomorrow. *headdesk*

So my writing progress has been abysmal. Friday--between everything else--I managed another 713 words. Monday night, my critique partner returned my other manuscript so I worked on that as well as the blurb and synopsis for an Ellora's Cave submission. Today, I'm doing the final read through of that story before I return to work on the other.

Updated word count! Almost there!

New Novella (Target Ellora's Cave)

Friday, October 17, 2008

Another Good Day!

Writing went great yesterday! Word count for the day was 3919! Woot woot! But I was exhausted by 5:30 and ready for bed. I don't think I can keep up this kind of pace even if the story is flowing. I'm pushing to finish this novella today so another high word count. Probably between 3000-3500 words. Hopefully I can keep up! *cackle*

Little Miss Snake Hunter (aka Princess) seems better. She's eating some, drinking and she can use her tongue well enough to clean herself. Which is good because she got outside and came home a wet bedraggled little kitteh! Of course, I try to help her keep clean. She loves it when I take a warm damp washcloth and rub her fur. Talk about a purring machine! A real bath, on the other hand, is not an option. We tried that once. She vetoed future baths. LOL

So the final tally of the new novella as of yesterday is...

New Novella (Target Ellora's Cave)

Almost there! Now if the plot will cooperate with the 18k max. Somehow, I'm not expecting it to!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Not As Good A Writing Day...

Well, I didn't do as well today on my progress. Only 1840 words to add. I did pass 12k which is good. I got a late start then took a break to go to my mother's exercise class. She teaches a free seniors class at the local library. I'm out of shape but I figured this would be a breeze. I mean, I'm 20 years younger than these ladies.

Local news headline: Local Author Out Exercised by Old Ladies

Seriously kicked my ass. *hangs head in shame* I ended up needing a nap. But in my defense, I did spend a lot of time last night running around to check on my great snake hunter, Princess. Her poor mouth is so swollen she can't eat and barely drink. She's better today but if I don't see some significant improvement, we're going back to the vet tomorrow.

I also had to stop writing this evening to watch the last Prez debate. I'm not sure if my blood pressure meds will be enough until the election.

So tonight's Word Meter doesn't look as good but hey, I'm still 2/3 done! Of course, it might go over 18k. If things don't start turning in the plot, it probably will. I wanted this done before the weekend. I'm going on a "research" trip with Delilah Devlin and our friend, Layla Chase, after the Diamond State Romance Authors meeting on Saturday. We're headed up to north Arkansas to the Ozark Folk Center until Monday. I'll have to kick the writing back into gear tomorrow!

New Novella (Target Ellora's Cave)

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

That Damn Cat!

Princess has got to learn she's just not fast enough to play with frakking snakes! She got bit...AGAIN! Another $200 and change for a vet bill. I sat all the critters down a few weeks ago and explained the "unemployed" thing. I'll keep paying for the roof over their cute little heads and the food they eat but they have to be very careful and stay healthy. And UNINJURED!

She's okay. Sitting at the foot of the bed staring at me with malice in her gaze... She's already bit me. Evidently, she took another bite to the face. She showed up last night with her face all puffed up. Today when I brought her home from the vet, she was having trouble picking up food from the plate. So I put a little on the tip of my forefinger. We've done this before. I scoop, she licks. Everyone is happy. Not this time. Bitch chomped down on my finger. Hard! I'm hoping that evil glare in her eye has nothing to do with a new fondness for the taste of human blood. I may have trouble sleeping tonight...

In spite of Missy Princess' adventures with reptiles, I had a productive writing day! Woo hoo! Although the last 600 words were interesting with the bloody bandaged finger. *cackle*

Today's word count: 4734
Two day total: 10,256

Woo hoo!

New Novella (Target Ellora's Cave)

I'm going to rest now. Not sure I'll sleep. Princess has moved a little closer... :/

Monday, October 13, 2008

Fantastic Progress!

Well, today's been quite productive! I started writing about nine but I had to do a little research. So slow out of the gate but I made up for it! I wrote more than 5500 words! Woo hoo! And I think most of it is good. Sometimes, I start out in one direction then go off in a tangent. I have to go back and edit for the change in direction. This time, I think I'm on target. Not much changed from the original idea. Of course, most of the 5500 words is a sex scene. And I'm not finished with it! LOL But the whole scene lays out the two characters and their issues.

I'm off to relax for a little while. If my back stops kinking on me, I may write some more kink! *cackle*

New Novella (Target Ellora's Cave)

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Inspiration Strikes!

So I'm lazing about in bed this morning trying to convince myself to get moving... Suddenly, my brain goes into brainstorming mode. I have a couple of secondary characters who were left hanging at the end of their respective novels--Jeremy from A HELPING HAND and David from HIDDEN FORCE. By coincidence, both of the characters are based in Memphis.

Actually, this isn't really that much of a coincidence. I love Memphis. It's one of my favorite cities so I use it alot as the setting for my books. But for the purpose of Jeremy and David, it was not planned to give either one a book of their own, much less one where they interact with each other.

I blame it on my brilliant readers. The most common comment about both books has been, "I hope Shayla writes (insert David's or Jeremy's name here) story." This morning, my thoughts drifted to a book with both of them in it. *grins* I've jotted down a basic synopsis and I think this story is going to interfere with the mainstream story I planned to work on next. Oh, well, when inspiration strikes, seize the day!

EC Novella

I'm starting with 18k as a minimum but you saw what happened to the last one.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Trouble comes in all shapes and sizes...

Well, the past few weeks as our economy tanked, my evil day job disappeared and the presidential campaign moved into high acrimony, I've been dealing with a personal health crisis.

Now, I'm a very laid back kind of person. I refuse to worry about things I can't change. I change the things I can. And I move on. I squirreled away my 401k and my savings into safe funds last December. I've been looking for a job for quite a while now...just no luck. And while I try to keep Shayla's stuff non-political, I tell everyone I meet that we can't afford another four years of Republicans. Go Obama/Biden!

But the one thing I could have done about my health, I needed to do thirty years ago. Quit smoking. I finally succeeded in July. Then I got pneumonia in August. I've talked about this on my blog. What I didn't say was the subsequent testing revealed a spot on my lungs--about 2.5 cm or one inch in diameter. Over the last eight weeks, I've undergone two CT scans, a PET scan and, finally this last Tuesday, a lung biopsy using a needle.

Today, I received the fantastic news that I don't have cancer. It's a benign lesion, possibly an infection. We'll be playing the watch and wait game that doctors loved to do so much.

Now, as I mentioned earlier, I refuse to waste energy on things I can't change so I really haven't been driving myself crazy with worry. My mother, however, has. Driven me crazy with worry. And my sister. And my friends. My boss. Co-workers. Pretty much everyone who knew what was going on. So while my sigh of relief was small and grateful, the gale force winds you heard whipping through central Arkansas were the combined breath of my friends and family. And to them, I say many thanks.

Now, since I've let the cat out of the bag on Shayla's political leanings, I will leave you with this most hysterical video. If you are a McCain/Palin fan, you probably don't want to watch it...unless you can laugh at the things you can't change!

I found this video at one of my favorits blog reads, Are You There Blog? It's Me Stephen.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008


EC Novella (revised target)

Done for the day. My first full day of being a writer instead of an accountant! Woo hoo!

Finished the story. Ran through critique partner's comments from a partial I sent last week. Started through self-edits. I'll finish those tomorrow!


Today I get to actually sit at home and write! *cackle* This week begins my full time writing but so far, I've spent the first two days doing other things! Monday was a trip to Little Rock to check out Veteran's health benefits. I need to get them set up so I have coverage once the day job stuff goes away. I have some additional paperwork to fill out but I should get that taken care of next week. Yesterday, I spent all day dealing with some tests at the hospital. Good thing the day job coverage is still in effect!

But today...I've got coffee brewing and I'm sitting at my desk working. I consider blogging working as long as I don't get too carried away. *cackle* Here's a picture of the new setup. I moved my desk into the living room to get away from the television. Too much distraction and the only TV is in the bedroom. You can also see I have plenty of help--not! The cats think the placement of the desk is for their use as a kitty condo.

And the chair is absolutely the best new "bed" in the house, complete with a nice warm throw.

I'll be working the kinks out with the "help" as we go along. *snort* Or until I'm properly trained.

As for now, the 18k novella went overtime. It stands at 20,062 and will probably end closer to 21k. As I wrote the last scene, I kept "telling" things that happened off screen between one of the heros and another character. Finally I gave up, went back to about the middle of the story and "showed" the scene. Now I'm back to finishing the last scene. Then it's off to my wonderful critique partner and I'll be on to the next project!

EC Novella (revised target)

Mainstream submission

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Blogging at Liquid Silver, Monday, September 29!

Stop by Liquid Silver's blog on Monday, September 29, and check out my latest oral fixation! I'll be drawing one name from the comments for a free download of one of my books plus some other goodies--playing cards, autographed cover flats, bookmarks, chapstick, etc!

Hope to see you there!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Life Happens!

Well a lot has changed since I last posted! First, the job interview went well but they chose someone else. *shrugs* I was a wee bit over-qualified but it would have been work closer to home. And then this week, I find out the Evil Day Job is finally going away. I'm kind of being laid off but kind of not. LOL No, nothing is ever easy with me. *cackle*

The long and short of it is, as of next Friday, October 3rd, I no longer have an Evil Day Job. I've worked out a deal with the Evil Boss' Boss where I'll still be doing some work from them. Mostly from home. Occasionally might have to go there. Of course, the pay will be limited. But the upside is I'll have more time to write. I'll keep looking for another job but I won't jump into something just because I'm unemployed. I can manage for a while without a job and it gives me much more time to write. And the more I write, the more I have to sell, the more money I can make, the longer I can stay home! Woo hoo!

Unless a really great job comes along, I don't expect to go back to full time work until after Christmas. I might do some part time or contract stuff. I'll wait and see.

So, since I'm going to have a lot of time to write, I need to make the most of it. I've set myself a rather brutal schedule for October and November. Of course, November is NaNoWriMo. I'll be working on a submission for Harlequin Blaze this year. Lots of sex allowed so hopefully I won't stall out like I did last year. I can't seem to write without sex scenes! LOL I'll be posting my progess on my blogs and I welcome all whip cracking anyone cares to provide.

As far as progress...the novella is almost done. I should be able to wrap it up tomorrow. I should have finished today but I managed to paint myself into a corner. I finally figured out what to do to get out but I'm about done for the day.

EC Novella

I have to be up early tomorrow. Delilah Devlin, Myla Jackson and I are playing on the Ellora's Cave readers loop starting at 8AM Central tomorrow. Stop by and join us at

Monday, September 15, 2008

A Little Is Better Than None...

Some more progress--though it's slow.

I quit smoking a little over two months ago. July 3rd, actually. I'm beginning to wonder if the lack of cigarettes has affected my ability to concentrate. I say the lack of cigarettes because I was on the patch for the first six weeks so it wasn't lack of nicotine. I still have stories running around in my head but I can't seem to sit still long enough to write. Or I sit too still and fall asleep. *cackle* My sleep cycles have been totally whacked since I quit as well.

I'm not going to start smoking again. As much as I need to write, my health needs to take priority. I don't have any contracted deadlines pending so the only urgency is in my self-imposed schedule. I just need to retrain my brain but the old adage about teaching old dogs comes to mind.

EC Novella

The story now has a tentative title and at almost 15k, it's shaping up to end maybe a little short of 18k. But that's fine.

Now I need to do some Evil Day Job stuff. I'm working from home this morning since I have a job interview at 10AM. It's a lot closer to home (58 miles roundtrip rather than 108 roundtrip) but I'd be taking a pay cut. Of course, since the Evil Day Job may go away on its own, a small pay cut would be better than no pay at all! *cackle*

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Gustav and Progress Update!

Well, I had to go to work yesterday. Got a text message late Thursday night that the power at the office was back on. So my progress slowed to a crawl.

Last night, with a break to watch the replay of Stargate Atlantis' The Shrine, I critiqued my friend Cynthia D'Alba's short story. Finished it up this morning. Since she hasn't finished my crit, I'm moving on to the Ellora's Cave novella. Since I really, really want a nap right now, we'll see what happens. *cackle*

EC Novella

Thursday, September 4, 2008


Short Story! Woo hoo!

Nearly 2k today! Except it's too long. I'll need to cut nearly 400 words. Oh, well, that's what edits are for!

EC Novella--soon...

First I have to crit a short story for Cynthia D'Alba. Only fair. I'm going to get her to crit my short story! LOL

And it looks like the office is still without power. Don't know if I'll have to work tomorrow or not. If I don't, I might finish the EC novella this weekend too!

Good Grief, Gustav!

Yes, I know I'm in Arkansas. You'd think old Hurricane/Tropical Storm Gustav wouldn't be that big a deal, right? Wrong!

Record rain--7-9 inches in two days. Besides the flooding, there's still nearly 70k people without power in Arkansas. Yesteday there was over 100k. Because Arkansas borders Louisiana on the south, linemen were sent in droves to Louisiana in advance of Gustav. Then the storm raced north, leaving a large bulk of Arkansas' energy workers out of place for the mess here.

I didn't go to work yesterday or today because there is no power at the office. We aren't sure if we'll get things back on today or not. Fortunately, I have power at home. Obviously, since I'm blogging. *cackle*

The power outage at the day job happened shortly after we shipped 20 truck loads of bottled water for FEMA. Thank goodness.

So I have two guilt free days off. Maybe three. We'll see. Right now, I'm going to finish a short story I've been working on. Need another 1600 words. After that, I have a story to crit for Cynthia D'Alba. Then...finish an Ellora's Cave novella. Don't know if I'll get it all done today but we'll see!

Progress meters... Let's see if they change today!

Short Story

EC Novella

Saturday, August 30, 2008

First Lines Meme

Gacked from [info]moonshayde on LiveJournal.

Post the first lines from your last 20 13 stories and look for patterns

1. At five minutes to closing, Morin Lansing flipped off the ‘open’ sign and store window lights then stormed across the store to the dressing room. (SL)
2. The night air teased Jamila’s skin through the fine linen robe. (KC)
3. Chen Jin Tai’s heart stopped as he read the letter. (DH)
4. Richard Taylor’s headlights found the state trooper’s cruiser sitting in the dark, off the road and waiting for speeders. (AHH)
5. Serena Whitmore stood behind a two-way mirror. (LFE)
6. Paul Loughton checked his reflection in the mirror. (PL)
7. Cavan woke in a cold sweat. (F)
8. Catherine Lakeland stared at her reflection in the full-length mirror. (DD)
9. The young man groaned as his brutalized flesh hit the icy pavement. (HF)
10. Roger Malloy could see the empty gauge flashing on his career. (TR)
11. Jared North nudged his car into the right lane of Interstate 35. (GIYS)
12. The young Asian woman stood silent, watching him. (TCOE)
13. Biton Savakis hungered. (TD)

I used all my contracted works. The first one isn't announced yet but what the hey! As for patterns... I like mirrors. I have three mentioned (#5, #6 & #8). And full names. Eight of those mentioned. And actually it should be nine. In #2, the character doesn't have a last name...yet. *cackle*

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

A HELPING HAND Available Today!

New from Ellora's Cave!



Deputy Sheriff Rich Taylor has many secrets. His sexuality is only the top of the list. Even his best friend Dan doesn’t know Rich is gay. For good reason. His feelings for Dan are more than friendship. When Dan’s injured, the thought of losing him forces Rich to admit his years-long lust has turned to love.

An accident turns State Trooper Dan Fletcher’s life, and his car, upside down. With his right hand out of commission, he has to rely on his best friend for his basic—sometimes intimate—needs. After spending most of his life looking for the right woman, he begins to wonder if he’s been looking at the wrong gender—an impossible concept in their small-minded world.


Richard Taylor’s headlights found the state trooper’s cruiser sitting in the dark, off the road and waiting for speeders. Since Rich wasn’t speeding and was actually a deputy sheriff on his own patrol, he wasn’t worried about getting a ticket.

His lips crooked upward at the thought of Trooper Daniel Fletcher—his best friend, a womanizing lady’s man with a heart of gold and the subject of most of Rich’s jerk-off fantasies. His smile slipped. He wondered whether Dan would still be his friend if he knew that last part.

Rich flashed his lights at the cruiser before pulling in beside it. Dan’s hand appeared in the bright beams then pulled the side mirror in so Rich could pull his unit close in the tight spot. Rich grabbed his mirror and did the same as he eased the car to a stop, driver’s window to driver’s window.

“Hey there.” Dan’s face was pale in the light of an almost full moon.

“How’s it going?”

“Slow night.” Dan shrugged. “Only one ticket. Thought about dropping it until I saw her wedding band.” His teeth flashed white in his shadowed face.

Rich laughed at Dan’s implication. Dan was always looking for his next date, but Rich knew he was joking. Dan’s scruples were one of the things Rich liked most about the man. He would no more drop a ticket for a quickie than Rich would.

“Want some?” Dan held up his ever-present thermos.

Addicted to coffee, Dan always shared when Rich showed up. He even kept several small foam cups in his cruiser for Rich’s use.

Their breath, visible in the cold January night air, mingled as they talked. Rich breathed in through his mouth as if he could taste the other man on the frozen air. A hopeless fantasy. He pushed his thoughts to the back of his mind. Something best saved for the morning when he would be alone in his bed. “Sure. You know I never turn down coffee.” Or a chance to talk with his best friend.

Dan started pouring before Rich finished his answer.

“So what happened with Lizzie?” Rich reached across the short distance for the coffee cup. He shivered from more than cold when Dan’s fingers brushed his.

“How’d you hear about that?”

“I went to the grocery store.”

Dan snorted as he poured his own cup. “Lizzie’s sister.”

“Yeah. Gossip central. I swear they could tell you which of your dog’s fleas jumped ship today.” Rich sipped the strong, hot liquid. “So, what’s your side of the story?”

“She’s just not the one.”

Rich smiled behind his coffee cup. Dan’s search for the elusive “one”—the perfect woman—was the talk of the county. After dating nearly half the available women in the small community, Dan still hadn’t found someone.

“It’s not as if I don’t want to settle down, I just can’t find a woman I think I could live with forever.” Dan’s comment wasn’t a new one.

“But Lizzie seemed like a good fit. Not too clingy, not calling all the time. Not like Sharon.” Even the mention of Sharon’s name sent a shudder down Rich’s back. That one had the makings of a stalker. In the pale moonlight he could see Dan had the same reaction.

“Don’t mention her! She’s scary.”

“Hey, you were the one who said she was harmless!” Rich chuckled at the idea of his tall muscular friend afraid of the petite brunette.

“Well, after awhile I thought I’d find her boiling bunnies in my kitchen! She can hold a grudge like nobody’s business.”

Rich laughed. “She’d never boil bunnies. She loves animals. You, on the other hand, are a different story. I thought we’d have to assign a protective detail on your house!”

As they both laughed, a speeding car topped the hill setting Dan’s radar beeping.

“Gotta go.” Dan switched on his blue lights and pulled out before Rich had time to say goodbye.

Rich watched in the darkness as the flashing lights of Dan’s car gained on the speeder. His friend was a damned attractive man and never had trouble getting dates. His chiseled features and deep blue eyes had most of the women he met willing and ready with little effort. Not to mention the great body.

Even his reputation didn’t seem to hurt his chances. The fact he was kind and sensitive to the point that most of his ex-girlfriends had no hard feelings didn’t hurt. Just the kind of man women wanted to take home to meet the parents.

Rich wasn’t overly modest about his own looks. He kept his body in shape, partly out of pride in his physique and partly out of the demands of the job. He never had trouble getting his own dates.

However, his tastes ran more to lean, masculine bodies and hard cocks. A small rural county in Tennessee wasn’t exactly the best place to come out of the closet, and since he wasn’t his best friend’s type, why bother. He hadn’t met anyone he wanted a lasting relationship with, anyone worth the trouble such a revelation would cause.

Occasional trips to see his friend Jeremy in Memphis, one hundred and fifty miles away, helped take the edge off when things got too bad. He could relax with Jeremy and not worry about people finding out his secret.

Lost in his thoughts, it took a few seconds for Rich’s mind to realize the speeder wasn’t stopping.

The radio crackled with Dan’s unit number. “J-12 in pursuit, possible 10-49, northbound 641, mile 6.”

Rich flipped his lights on as he backed out of the spot. He could still see the blue strobe lights of Dan’s cruiser in the distance. A drunk driver was a pain in the ass, but a fleeing one was an accident wanting to happen. He reached for his radio as he pulled out of the shadows and joined the pursuit. “Dispatch, C-6 to assist J-12.”

Tossing his radio mike on the passenger seat as the dispatcher acknowledged, he floored the accelerator. Rich closed the distance enough to see the white tail of a deer flash blue as it ran across the highway.

Dan’s cruiser swerved in an erratic jerk—first left then right—then flew off the left side of the road. The flashing blue strobe danced in the darkness. As if in slow motion, the car flipped.

Rich’s heart was in his throat as he watched it roll out of sight down an embankment. “Dispatch, 10-36 with 10-34. Mile 10 northbound 641.”

His car screeched to a stop near where Dan had gone over. He had the door open before the dispatcher acknowledged his call of an accident with an officer in trouble.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Life In General

I've been out of sorts lately. Tired, unmotivated, can't seem to concentrate on anything--evil day job or writing related. Part of it I blamed on quitting smoking. Supposedly your metabolism drops when you quit smoking... Okay, that could work. Part of it I blamed on the 105 degree weather with 110-115 heat indices. I mean, who can get motivated when walking outside takes your breath away! Part of my blahs I blamed on just the normal cycle of ups and downs I seem to go through at different times of the year.

I didn't, however, think I was actually sick! *cackle*

About a week and a half ago, I started coughing...not much, just in the mornings and it didn't last long. On the third day, the coughing included blood and my back hurt from the middle of my shoulder blades to my waist. Time to see a doctor. I didn't feel sick but hey, anytime blood is involved... So I went a week ago Friday. I had walking pneumonia! No telling how long I'd had it! Bitch of it was, my car was packed to spend the weekend with a few writer friends and my doctor said I couldn't go! *pouts*

Of course, by the time I got home, I was ready to hit the bed. It was as if his diagnosis gave my body permission to fall apart! LOL I'm better. The antibiotics seemed to have done the job although I feel like I could sleep away the day today. I went back to work on Thursday and then went to my RWA chapter meeting yesterday so I am a little worn out.

While I was sick I recieved my page proofs for Keket's Curse (Masters of Desire antho for Kensington Aphrodisia). I finally got around to them last night. Before that, I couldn't stay upright for long. Only two corrections! Woohoo! I can fax the two pages back tomorrow.

I'm trying to get back into working on a new m/m story. It's just a short novella but with the way I've been feeling this summer, it's taking FOREVER!! LOL I think I'm going to take a nap and then work on the story this afternoon. If I can get anything written, I'll be happy. Because of the pneumonia, I promised not to push myself too much this week.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Another New Cover!

An abundance of riches! Last week, I received cover flats for my Kensington Aphrodisia release Masters of Desire! A nice man torso shot! Can't go wrong with that! So now I have the official title and the official blurb!

Masters of Desire wasn't the original antho title. When this idea was originally pitched it was two volumes of Damned, Dangerous and Delicious--my story in volume two. But somewhere along the way the idea of a Volume 1 and 2 was dropped. The first anthology ended up Damned, Delicious and Dangerous with Delilah Devlin, Lisa Renee Jones and Megan Kerans, released in May 2008. And now, Masters of Desire will be released January 2009! While the book is listed on Amazon, the blurbs aren't there yet.

So blurbage!

Three outstanding erotic authors team up for the second in this imaginative series featuring lovers cursed by fate—and freed by desire.

"Pirate of Mystique Island" by Myla Jackson

A magnificent man rises from the sea before the siren Melodie and she is enchanted in an instant. Lord Rafe Herrington is naked, his skin a shimmering blue, his muscles outlined by silvery rivulets. She longs to trace the water's path...down, down, down...and caress him tenderly. A deep spell binds him prisoner, but a shattering climax can free him...

"Ghostly Legacy" by Layla Chase

Know me. Know my body. Reidun's whispered command arouses a potent response in her Norwegian warlord. He vows to five her the utmost pleasure...until fate parts them forever. The a modern woman hears his voice as she wanders through an ancient castle--and the warlord lives--and loves--once more...

"Keket's Curse" by Shayla Kersten

Given as a handmaiden to the ancient temple of Goddess Hathor, Jamila's body and beauty mesmerize all men. Cursed by a jealous priestess, she can never be truly satisfied--until centuries later, still young, still beautiful, she is saved by David. His kiss explodes her bonds--and sexual ecstasy is next...

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Procrastination 101

I should be writing but I'm catching up on my usual blog reading... Found some hot vids on one of my favorite reads Guy Dads which in turn sent me to search for more hot videos... Well, YouTube, thy name is procrastination...

Ghost Hunting Update! (Finally!)

So two weeks ago, the Diamond State Romance Authors spent a weekend at a haunted hotel and went ghost hunting. And we had a blast! Personally, I didn't see or feel anything but then I'm a serious skeptic. Some of our group are more sensitive and open to that sort of thing. A couple had the shivers and goosebumps of a close encounter--which was fun for me to be there to watch.

Our weekend started on Saturday at the Colorado Grill in Hot Springs. A few of us planned to meet there for lunch before checking in at the hotel. Fantastic Mexican food, lousy parking. LOL Almost got lost looking for the parking lot on the block behind the restaurant. But the food was worth the minor aggrevation. More than a few showed up and some brought their families so we ended up with a big party!

Left is Cynthia D'Alba, my wonderful friend and critique partner. She's a hoot to be around. Several of us spent a lovely weekend at her lake house recently plotting books and drinking esspresso martinis.

Below is Shada Royce, an up and coming author, who made a recent short story sale that we're not allowed to talk about yet. *cackle* She and I will be in the same anthology but more on that news will have to wait until the paperwork is final!

And Shada's not bored. I think she's hungover--or just very tired. She and Delilah stayed at Cyndi's the night before. I know alcohol was involved, however, they were up until the wee hours of the morning brainstorming.

Then we were off to the Velda Rose. The Velda is considered one of the most haunted places in Hot Springs. A number of murders, suicides and deaths pepper their long history. The ninth floor and the spa--on the second floor--are where the most paranormal activity takes place. Of course, we all wanted on the ninth floor. LOL Nutty writers...the things we do for our art! Although our outing coordinator had reserved rooms all on the ninth floor, the desk clerks couldn't seem to come up with enough rooms. They straightened it out with a few calls to the manager and we all checked into our haunted floor.

Our regular business meeting was held in a hotel meeting room and we went through the normal motions while we anxiously waited for the ladies of the Central Arkansas Society for Paranormal Research!

Karen and Cathy joined us with a presentation on Hot Springs, its history and its hauntings plus pictures of apparitions and ghost orbs. We also got to see the clip of them on the Montel Williams show! The presentation was fascinating and the ladies were lovely and animated about their finds. We broke for dinner and to wait for dark--because what fun is wandering a cemetary in the daylight?

About 9:30 we headed out to the Hollywood Cemetary in Hot Springs. It's a fairly small cemetery but old and it's in the middle of Hot Springs so we didn't have to go too far. We needed to be back at the Velda Rose by 11 PM for the haunted hotel tour!

During Karen and Cathy's presentation, they showed us what ghost orbs looked like so we were all about finding some orbs! Snapping pictures in a graveyard after dark, I expected the police to stop by and see what we were up to! But we went undisturbed by the living as we wandered around the graves. I, being absentminded, forgot my flashlight at home. But between the lurking full moon and the residual lights from the city, I managed fine without one. The dirt road winding around and between the plots was pale and easy to make out in the limited light. The only time I needed assistance was if I wanted to go into a specific plot. The grassy areas made seeing a little more difficult.

I took a few pictures with some interesting results. One of the things we were looking for was ghost orbs. This picture shows a close up of something--although there were a lot of strange orbs in the shot--this one was the most interesting. The largest orb has an interesting texture and depth. Some websites claim this to be dust particles, some say it's a ghost orb. Being the skeptic I am, I'll let you do your own research and decide for yourself. Link here to the larger version of this shot--

Whether a ghost or dust or humidity--whatever--I had the greatest story idea pop into my head while standing in the middle of a graveyard on a muggy, hot night as sweat trickled down the middle of my back and shivers not related to tempurature wrapped around my spine.

More on the story when it's written! *cackle*

After the cemetery, we met back at the bar in the hotel for something cold to drink and a little air conditioning. At 11 PM, we gathered in the lobby with Karen from CASPR and started the ghost tour. We went to different floors where we heard about the man who was murdered in the hall--gutted like a fish with blood soaking into the carpet. Another where a man put a gun in his mouth and blew his brains all over the hotel room. An elderly man who died in room 612 of natural causes and his wife, returning on year later, died of natural causes in room 611. Stories of the woman in white Victorian era clothing who wanders the stairwells and the restaurant. Lots of stories about the hotel and the sometimes violent history of Hot Springs.

The most haunted spot in the hotel is supposed to be the spa. After a little mix up about access to the closed spa at midnight, we did get in. But I was dead on my feet and my troublesome knee and plantar facsiitis foot weren't very happy with me. I didn't stay for the hunt for ghosts in the spa. My roomie, Delilah Devlin, wandered into our room about 1:30 AM. I'd already downed a double dose of naproxen and was dozing off and on in the unfamiliar bed. Turns out, I didn't miss much by going to bed early and my knee and foot were much happier with me!

The next morning, Delilah and I headed back to the haunted spa, this time open for business. We did the full spa treatment--hot mineral baths, massage and sauna. Now that was worth facing any ghost, anytime!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

"Holy nekkid mens, Batgirl!"

I luvs Les Byerley! He's the cover artist responsible for most of my Ellora's Cave covers. And he's done it again with Double Happiness. I'll say again, "Holy nekkid mens, Batgirl!" Excuse me while I go find a towel to mop up the drool...

Friday, July 25, 2008

Blogging at Liquid Silver!

Yes, I know I owe a post about ghost hunting! I'll do it this weekend. In the meantime, in my scheduled day at Liquid Silver, I'm talking about my strange cat Princess. Stop by and comment for the chance to win an ebook download!


Saturday, July 19, 2008

I Ain't 'Fraid a No Ghosts!

The Diamond State Romance Authors are having an outing today. Yes, we're going ghost hunting!

This afternoon and this evening, the lovely ladies of the Central Arkansas Society for Paranormal Research (CASPR) will be giving a seminar on haunted places and ghosts in Hot Springs, Arkansas! This evening, we'll be tramping through a haunted cemetary then tonight, most of us will be staying the night in a haunted hotel!

This is going to be so much fun! Just imagine Delilah Devlin, Myla Jackson and myself dressed in Ghostbuster overalls with our proton backpacks! How fun is that?

I'll be back on Sunday to update our weekend! Or I might be hiding from some of them ghosts! *cackle*

Sunday, July 13, 2008

A Release Date!

Finally! LOL Keket's Curse is a novella in the Masters of Desire anthology with Kensington Aphrodisia. Officially, Keket's Curse was my first sale. The offer was made in July of 2006. Yes, 2006. But it's New York print publishing and they are much slower than ebooks. I've been spoiled with fast turnarounds. *cackle*

So after a long wait, and very fast edits last month, the release date is January 2009! *insert Snoopy dancing here* Since my other print books are small press, I haven't had the pleasure of seeing my name on the shelf at the local Barnes & Nobles. Since this is Kensinton Aphrodisia, I will finally have that pleasure! And even better, the other two authors in the antho, Myla Jackson and Layla Chase, are good friends. So I have the added pleasure of seeing my name with theirs!

Now I have to wait patiently for the cover... Patience may be a virtue but no one ever accused me of being virtuous! *cackle*

Keket's Curse - Masters of Desire anthology - Jan 2009

Unedited Blurb:

Jamila Aten had an insatiable lust for men. Literally. Caught in a less than favorable position with the Egyptian priestess Keket’s lover 3000 years ago, Jamila was cursed with a libido out of control. Fortunately, with looks Cleopatra would kill for, Jamila had no trouble attracting men. With only one problem. Sex she could have but one kiss steals her lover’s life.

Detective David Craise couldn’t decide if there was a very clever killer wandering his city or if sex had suddenly become deadly--two healthy young men dead of no apparent causes found in compromising conditions. A mysterious exotic woman was the only connection. Almost the same description of the woman who seduced him last night...

Friday, July 11, 2008

Update on Life, the Universe and Everything!

The last few weeks have been hectic. Between the Evil Day Job, insomnia and quitting smoking, my brain has been mush and my Muse has left for less stressful climes.

Yes, quitting smoking. I've smoked for...well, a really long time. Let's just say more years than I've not. And it's time. And this time, it's going to work. I didn't say to myself I'm going to "try" to quit smoking. I said, "I'm quitting." Not cold turkey without help, mind you. The co-workers at the EDJ would have had to take cover if I'd done this without some help. I'm using nicotine patches.

After reading the back of the Walmart brand, Equate, and the name brand version, I decided the only difference was the $10 in price. I started on July 3rd--nine days and counting--and so far, it's been a breeze.

The only time I had a serious craving was Wednesday. My dog Frankie had a growth on her neck that needed to be removed. This wasn't the first tumor she'd had. Two years before, a growth was removed with no problem and although it was cancer, it wasn't the kind that spread. I figured this would be the same thing.

Unfortunately, it wasn't. This tumor was all over the place. The vet wouldn't be able to remove all of it and what she could get wouldn't be enough and would probably have left Frankie lame. The vet recommended letting her go. As hard as it was, I did. And I appreciate the vet's honesty.

A number of years ago, with a different vet, I put one of my dogs through hell trying to treat the untreatable because I couldn't let go and the vet wouldn't voice an opinion one way or the other. He didn't like advising people to euthanize.

So rest in peace, Francesca Ann. I'm having her cremated and she'll occupy a spot on the shelf with Tasha and Buddy.

Tuesday I had to work from home so I could deal with the plumber. The sewer line was giving me headaches. Sometimes I wonder why I bought a house. Yardwork and home repairs... What a pain.

Romeo decided I needed assistance. Or at least a good view of him napping. This is Romeo's idea of helping--sleeping on my bookbag with my work in it.

He spent most of the day there waking long enough to glare at me when I needed the papers he was sleeping on.

Romeo is so named because he's a lover. Drives me crazy wanting to be petted. I'm a side sleeper and I wake up to find him sleeping on my side with his paws and head hanging over my shoulder. Of course, he hasn't figured out that knocking him off isn't personal. It's usually hot flash related. LOL

I also had a telephone interview on Thursday regarding a new job. It sounds very interesting, would be a little more money and save me forty miles a day on the commute. With the price of gas, that's about $110 a month savings. And it's in West Little Rock, which is convenient to everything! Where I'm at now, there's nothing around. I have to travel even more on the weekend to get things done like nails, hair, car maintenance, etc. Of course, I usually meet up with Momma and Lil Sis on the weekends for sushi lunch so it's not a total waste of a weekend day! I'm not getting my hopes up for the job but it would be nice.

The insomnia is getting better. Most of it was caused by Restless Leg Syndrome. A little hard to sleep when you can't stay still! Doc gave me samples of Mirapex and it's worked really well--except I ran out Wednesday night. Last night was hell! I called the doc this morning to get a prescription called in and the stupid pharmacy claims they never received the fax. *headdesk* Doc's office is open tomorrow so I'll be calling.

Turns out caffiene and nicotine aggravate RLS. I had already cut back on the caffiene by switching to half-caf. Once I finish with the patches, I'm hoping I can dump the RLS meds.

With everything going on, writing had suffered. I did start a new story--m/m. Not much done on it yet but I'm trying!

So there's my update on life, the universe and everything!