Friday, October 31, 2014

Happy Halloween!

 Lego Writer says...

Have a fun and safe Halloween! 

And then get back to work!  ;o)

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Devil's Night

Tonight is Devil's Night, so it's only appropriate we talk about villains today.

Who's your favorite fictional villain?  Why?

JB: Would it be terrible to say that my favorite fictional villain is one of my own? I've got Ivan Vogler rolling around in my head all the time and I'm a bit obsessed with him.

But seriously, I love a good villain and can't choose among my favorites, but they include, but aren't limited to: Moriarty, Voldemort, The Deaf Man (from the 87th Precinct books), Annie Wilkes,  and  Dolores Umbridge

B.E.:I'm with JB.  My favorite villains are my own creations - maybe because I know them so well. I hope someday to share them all with you.

Of the ones created by others, I enjoy hating The Surgeon (created by Tess Gerritsen) and The Player (from Debra Webb's Faces of Evil series).  Allison Brennan makes some really awesome villains that are really easy to hate.  Of course, there's Dolores Umbridge - the most hated women in literature, I think.  And Cruella deVil.  Voldemort is a brilliant baddie.  Oh, and I almost forgot - Akasha from Anne Rice's Queen of the Damned.  So very vicious.  Of course, there are more.  The best books all have someone to hate.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014


THE HITWOMAN AND THE POISONED APPLE will be out November 7th, so I thought it was time to reveal the cover.

I can't believe that this is the eighth story in the CONFESSIONS OF A SLIGHTLY NEUROTIC HITWOMAN series.

I'm so grateful that so many people have enjoyed the adventures of Maggie and the gang.  I'm already writing book 9!

This weekend I attended the Tampa Bay Times Festival of Reading. It was so cool to be in the company of enthusiastic readers of all ages. (But I MAY have enjoyed the kids who were so excited to see R.L. Stine the most.)

Tell me Killer Friends: If you could meet ANY writer, who would it be?

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

A Cauldron Full of Goodbyes -- Teaser Tuesday

I am SO excited to feature this week's teaser from my good friend Cynthia Valero.  Her novella, A CAULDRON FULL OF GOODBYES is part of REHAB FOR WITCHES which will be released on Halloween!


Trista Burns has no plan to enter witch rehab as ordered by the high council. She believes in an eye for an eye and will instead purge her magick and live an ordinary life. It will be Hell, but one she deserves for acting the unwitting minion for the worst witch of all, The Irish Terror.

Angus McCutty, the Terror's son, has his own plan for Trista and, among his lies, reveals the terrifying truth that Trista has not quite escaped the Terror's grasp.

Two witches with shameful pasts, Trista and Angus must find a way to save what means most to them, but first they must learn to trust each other—and themselves—as witches.

I've read this story and loved it! Here's a quick taste:

She untied her cauldron, set it on a stump. As she opened the spring water, she asked Angus, “Are you a witch?”
“You can’t tell?”
“I can feel your magick, but not which kind.”
“How do you feel magick?”
She blushed as she poured the water into her cauldron and then tucked the half-empty bottle back into her jacket. “My elbows. They get a fluttery feeling.”
His mouth quirked.
She narrowed her eyes. “How can you tell I’m a witch?”
“I can smell it on you.”
She flushed deeper. “What does it smell like?”
The ghost of a grin. “A blend of vanilla and wood smoke. There is always a hint of smoke to a witch. Perhaps it has something to do with our ancestry.”
“And the vanilla?”
He leaned close and drew a breath below her ear. “The vanilla is you. It hints at something sweet yet exotic.”


Cynthia Valero is an award-winning author of three paranormal romance novels and two anthologies written with Beth Ciotta as CB Scott. Her newest solo novella, A Cauldron Full of Goodbyes, is one of six dark and edgy stories in the anthology, Rehab is for Witches. A student of Natalie Goldberg, Zoetrope All-Story, and The Writers Studio, Cynthia is currently writing a novel entitled, Fox + Stagg, a rich tale of forbidden love and deadly feuds set off the coast of 1904 America. You can visit her on Facebook at Cynthia Valero Books or at

Monday, October 27, 2014

NaNo is Almost Upon Us

Last night while I was chatting with the Kid about what she should be for Halloween, I made a joke that she should go as a writer pre-NaNo.  You know the look - a pencil in one hand, a harried look on the face, messy hair, comfy clothes. 

I don't know if she'll do it, but it got me thinking.  What would a writer the night before NaNo look like?  I know if I was doing it for the first time, I'd probably look like a basket case. 

Nowadays, I'm an old pro at NaNo.  For those of you not familiar with NaNo, it stands for National Novel Writing Month, and it's the month where some of the writing populace commit to writing 50K words in a month.  I've committed to it privately and publicly through the site, and sometimes committed to it even though it wasn't November, for the past seven years or so.  Given the right gumption, I can bang out 50K cogent words in a month.  Whether they ever go anywhere from there?  Well, sometimes they turn into a shopable novel.  Sometimes, they need a ton of work and I get distracted by a shiny idea elsewhere.  Sometimes, I just stop.

Last year, I just stopped.  My YA fantasy novel - a total break from anything I wrote before - moulders on my harddrive.  I don't know if I'll ever finish it.  Maybe someday.

This year I had planned to jump into NaNo will full abandon, writing a gritty urban fantasy that's been niggling at the back of my head.  But then I had a conversation with the Hubs, and he reminded me that I am ass deep in unfinished, semi-finished, and barely edited manuscripts, and perhaps I should finish one of those before I rush headlong into a new book. 

He's quite right, ya know.  So, I have the rest of this week to decide.  Work on something totally new or finish something I already started.  To that end, I've loaded a partially finished suspense I gave up on years ago when I lost faith in my ability to write suspense.  In the words of Monty Python, "I got better."  Unfortunately, after my faith got restored, I never went back to finish this damn book.  Now would be the perfect time - that is, if I think this manuscript is still viable or at least fixable.  We'll see. 

Who knows, I may still write the new idea next month.  Or I might go back and finish that quirky mystery I never finished.  Or I could just knuckle down and finish editing these things I never edited. 

Time will tell. 

Have you ever tried NaNo? 

Friday, October 24, 2014

My desk -- Fab Photo Friday

I went about almost a year without a desk. I missed having a defined work space terribly.

Finally I found an old wicker desk. It took a while to refurbish it, but I'm happy with the way it turned out.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Cookie Month

According to Holiday Insights, October is Cookie Month.  Time to talk cookies!

What's your favorite cookie?  Do you bake or do you buy?

JB: If I bake it's oatmeal or butter cookies.
If I buy it's Mint Milanos. (NOT Pumpkin Spice…tried 'em and was disappointed)

B.E.: I love making cookies.  I just wish I had someone to give the majority of them away to.  My favorites to make and eat are my coconut chocolate chip cookies, my peanut butter bars, and my layer bars.  Of course, a lot of the time, I'm too lazy to bake, so I just snag some from the store - or mug a girl scout.  Thin mints... mmmm.  And those peanut butter ones covered in chocolate...  (You can buy knock offs of Girl Scout cookies now, though, which is good because I live in a retirement community and Girl Scouts are scarce.)  Also, Pepperidge Farms macadamia white chocolate chunk.  And now I'm hungry.