Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Has this ever happened to you?

It was the day after Christmas, and I was sound asleep, minding my own business when suddenly…

Vicious, saber-toothed plot bunnies attacked me from nowhere.

Nowhere, I tell you.

It was barely 6:00 AM. I tried to ignore them, I really did, but it just got worse.

So finally I got out of bed and grabbed a notebook and started making notes.

The upside of this plot bunny ambush is, if I can pull it all off, I’ve got stories to keep me busy all year long and releases through 2013.

The downside is, I’ll have to write the equivalent of four full-length novels over the course of two years. Starting next week. That’s doable – assuming I can avoid any more lurking plot bunnies for the next 12 months at least.

Anybody have any suggestions for warding off random bunny attacks?

When was the last time bunnies got you? Did you escape unscathed, or did you surrender?

Monday, December 26, 2011

What was the best gift you received?

I hope you've enjoyed whatever holiday(s) you've celebrated lately.

Someone on twitter asked something like "What was the best gift you ever received?" and I thought it would be fun to answer that today.

I received my favorite gift of all time when I was six or seven. My grandparents gifted me a subscription that delivered two Nancy Drew and two Hardy Boys mysteries to me every month for a year.

It was such a thrill to receive that box of books month after month.

What was the best gift you've ever received?

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Dare me, I dare you

Have you seen this commercial for Dr. Pepper Ten, the new 10-calorie, men only version of Dr. Pepper?

I thought it was hysterical, not to mention an interesting marketing ploy. Soda companies apparently have realized that men don’t like diet soda. Why should they? Let’s face it, it tastes funny. Not to mention it’s all about counting calories which is something women are supposed to do. Men don’t have time for that girly stuff. They’re out chasing bears and eating a couple pounds of beef in one sitting. You don’t cap that off with a diet soda, right?

Well, my husband is a big fan of Dr. Pepper, and he fits the demographic they’re after. He doesn’t like diet soda. When he saw the commercial for Dr. Pepper Ten he decided he would try it mostly because he thought the part about it not being for women was funny. He said, “Now you can’t steal my soda.”

Let me defend myself here by saying, I don’t steal a lot of soda. I try to avoid drinking it if possible, but once in a while, with a slice of pizza or something, a can of Dr. Pepper can be awesome. But whatever. In his mind I steal his soda and now I won’t because this new soda, cleverly camouflaged in a gray can, like women can’t see that color or something, is specifically formulated for men only.

DH said, “You’ve had your own deodorant for years [Secret- strong enough for a man but made for a woman], so now we have our own soda.”

I didn’t have the heart to tell him that in the minds of women, men only have what we allow them to think they have. He was happy knowing he had his own soda. I let him enjoy the fantasy.

Until he came home with a case of Dr. Pepper Ten. Not only did I immediately pop open a can for myself [basically it’s diet Dr. Pepper that tastes only slightly less diety. The ten calories come from a splash of high fructose corn syrup which is missing from regular ‘diet’ sodas. The negative -180 calories of the rest of it comes from aspartame] I proceeded to drink the whole can despite my husband’s ‘men’s liberation’ protests.

I’m not sorry either.

Anything boys can do, girls can do better. [That’s the playground motto I remember best from grammar school, and I stand behind it.]

So not only do I steal the men-only Dr. Pepper Ten from my husband, I drink it through a pink bendy straw.

Tell me what I can’t do next. I dare you.

Monday, December 19, 2011

How Not to Piss Off a Contest Judge

So I've been judging a contest and there are a couple of things that have pissed me off about the process.

**Obviously, if  the contest lays out the way to prepare your entry, follow those.

1) Don't send an entry that requires a signature.

Yes, I know, you're desperate to know that your masterpiece reached its destination. Please also know that signing for multiple packages is a pain in the butt. It got so bad that my mail carrier, a very nice woman who is usually unfailingly cheerful,  finally asked me what was going on and how much longer I expected the onslaught to last.

2)  Seal ONCE.

Again, I know you're sending cargo that is precious to you, but please remember you're sending manuscript pages, not a virus that can wipe out the population of Earth. It's enough of a challenge to open some of the USPS/ FedEx  packaging...but then to find ANOTHER envelope inside, that is wrapped with industrial grade packing tape, seems to indicate you don't really want your entry read.

3) Bind your pages.

If the contest specifies how to do it, follow those instructions. If it doesn't, use something to hold the pages together. If it can be stapled, staple it. Or if you don't have a stapler handy, use a paperclip. Your manuscript is getting added to a stack of manuscripts, do you really want it to be sloppy?

4) Put a name or title on every page. (unless instructions say otherwise) 

The same people who didn't staple/paperclip their entries, were the ones who only put numbers on their pages. When the dog knocked a pile off my coffee table, I had pages scattered everywhere. It took me forever to figure out which page 6 belonged in each entry.

5) Say thanks.

I'm a volunteer. I'm getting nothing from judging this contest. I'm doing it to help support my fellow writers. Not one person put a, "Thank you for taking the time to judge this entry" in their cover letter. If someone had, I might be more willing to judge again next year.

Wishing everyone a healthy and happy holiday season!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Official blurb revealed!! Confessions of a Slightly Neurotic Hitwoman


Maggie Lee is not your average hit woman. For one thing, she’s never killed anyone. For another, after hitting her head in the car accident that killed her sister, her new best friend is a talking lizard--a picky eater obsessed with Wheel of Fortune, who only Maggie can hear.

Maggie, who can barely take care of herself, is desperate to help her injured and orphaned niece get the best medical care possible, so she reluctantly accepts a mobster’s lucrative job offer: major cash to kill his monstrous son-in-law.

Paired with Patrick Mulligan, a charming murder mentor (who happens to moonlight as a police detective), Maggie stumbles down her new career path, contending with self-doubt, three meddling aunts, a semi-psychic friend predicting her doom, and a day job she hates. Oh, and let’s not forget about Paul Kowalski, the sexy beat cop who could throw her ass in jail if he finds out what she’s up to.

Training has never been this complicated! And, this time, Maggie has to get the job done. Because if she doesn’t – she’s the mob’s next target.

Available for pre-order at AMAZON now. Coming soon to all fine ebook retailers.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The scattershot approach to writing*

As long as we’re talking about confessions [of slightly neurotic hitwomen or anyone else], I suppose I should reveal mine.

I currently have absolutely NO FOCUS when it comes to my writing. I’ve been knocking myself out trying to come up with some type of writing plan for 2012, and while I have some ambitious goals, I have yet to figure out a solid plan for how to reach those goals.

I seem to have all this pent up writing energy – a lot of ideas floating around in my head, sequels to older books, three-book series, standalone novels…but I find I’m so enamored of so many ideas that I can’t concentrate on just one for any length of time.

In the past I’ve allowed indecision to paralyze me. I don’t know which of half a dozen projects to work on, so I go sit in the corner and crochet. It doesn’t help. [Well, I made a nice afghan and a couple of really cute scarves, but other than that, I got nowhere.] My new MO is to not allow lack of focus to actually stop me from writing. So I’ve been writing like mad, sometimes 4500 words in a day – and working on whatever story strikes my fancy at the moment.

I figure eventually something will end up finished.

I know it’s not the best way to write – it’s sort of like giving a monkey a typewriter and waiting for him to complete the works of Shakespeare. You’ll probably get a lot of crap [on and off the page] before you come close to something readable. But I’ll say this – I’m writing. Somewhere in the ever flowing mess of words there may be a gem or two, and in the future I can sweep up all the errant phrases, cut and paste scenes, edit to my heart’s content, and maybe come up with something useful. Or hopefully in the mean time I’ll settle down and figure out exactly how to accomplish what I want to accomplish and be able to hone my approach.

The saying goes: Writer’s write. Nowhere does it say they do so in a systematic and logical way. So for now, I write, therefore I am.

Are you? [Writing that is.]

*Warning: Don’t attempt this at home. The unfocused brain of a writer is a dangerous thing and should be left in the hands of professionals. Preferably mental health care professionals.

Don’t forget to drop by tomorrow to find out more about JB Lynn’s upcoming release, CONFESSIONS OF A SLIGHTLY NEUROTIC HITWOMAN.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011



Isn't it pretty??

Check back on Thursday when I'll reveal the official blurb!

Monday, December 12, 2011

What makes an Alpha? + Giveaway

Please give a Killer Welcome to today's special guest Rita Henuber, who will be giving away a copy of UNDER FIRE to one lucky commenter!

Take it away, Rita!

I had my blog pretty much written and came over to the Killer Chick site to check on something.  The blog header –the chick in silhouette, weapons in hand and the wings spreading behind- made me rethink.

I’m constantly asked about the hero and heroine in Under Fire both being alphas and how I make it work. Recently a friend and fellow author who’d read Under Fire asked me the same question. She said she rarely connected with an alpha heroine but she connected with my heroine immediately.  Yeah! Yippee! And a back flip.(if I could do one) 

I had to think hard before I could answer.  Honestly, I don’t think of my  H&H as alphas.  My definition of alpha is kickass, take no prisoners, do what it takes to get the job done no matter how many people are used and abused. No matter how many bodies are stepped over and left behind, the protagonist doesn’t care a flying fig.  

I prefer to say my H&H in Under Fire strong. They are certainly kickass. He, Rico, is a deep undercover DEA agent.  He’s been under cover so long the line between the job and who he pretends to be is blurring. She, Olivia, is a Coast Guard helicopter pilot. Her job is drug interdictions along the Florida coast.  Her flying skills are above average as are her hand to hand fighting skills.  They are both fiercely independent because they’ve suffered crushing hurts and don’t want to let anyone to close. 

When they come together to get the job done they each have their own ideas and there is a lot of compromise.  Except in the bedroom.  Without hesitation they leave some bodies behind. But, they are all the bad guys.

Olivia and Rico stand shoulder to shoulder. Accepting of each other.  They fill in each other’s blanks. Never once asking the other to give up anything. 

I perceive women though out history to have this independence and strength.  Their men went off to wars and didn’t come back for years. Those women ran the farms and businesses. Could weak women endure dangerous ocean crossings to come to the new world?  Think about the settling of America. Women were there, even if many historians want to ignore them. They crossed the county in wagon trains through heat and snow just like the men. They have been part of battles in every war this country has partaken in.  The first and only woman to receive the Congressional Medal of Honor, Mary Walker, was a surgeon during the Civil War. The medal was rescinded in 1916. The Army purged its files to reduce what they thought were "unwarranted" issues of medals.  But, it was said the real reason was CongressMEN were upset Mary wore pants while operating on wounded men. Really? She was asked several times to return the medal and refused wearing it every day until her death. Congress reinstated it to her in 1976.

Spring forward to WWII when women stepped into men’s jobs still maintaining homes. Women pilots ferried newly built planes (planes built by women) to the fronts. Many lost their lives to enemy fire. It wasn’t until 1977 these amazing women were afforded veterans status.

I look around me and see women who are wives and single mothers, maintaining homes, caring for children, working outside the home, being caregivers to aging or ill family members. On top of it all, they eek out time to write romance novels.  These are the real life strong heroines I model my story heroines after.  If some consider them alpha, kickass, strong, killers-chicks so be it.  

So how do you define an alpha character? 

Have you read Under Fire? Do you think Olivia is an alpha heroine or an extraordinary woman?

Rita grew up in Florida, married a Marine, lived around the country and traveled the world. Back in Florida she writes about extraordinary women and the men they love. Visit her web home   Facebook twitter @ritahenuber.  You can also catch her on the Ruby Sisters blog  or,  on Just Romantic Suspense
Under Fire is available at Carina Press , Amazon,, Audible  B&N,


Friday, December 9, 2011

Vigilante Author at Work

Today’s guest blogger, Lillian Grant, transplanted herself from the UK to Australia after marrying her husband. Her stories sexy romance novels reflect her love for travel and exotic locations, along with her quirky British sense of humor.

Today she tells us what it’s like to be a superhero with a secret identity.

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? Nope, it’s an author hard at work. Can I trust you with a secret?  I’m a superhero.  No, really I am. Okay, okay, I don’t have a cool costume, yet. There is no gadget filled car in my garage. No alarm goes off calling me to the author cave and nothing green and pulsating reduces my magical powers. But I have it on good authority being an undercover author is cool.

What is she talking about? You might well ask!  I recently changed day jobs and my new employer takes political correctness and sexual harassment very seriously. We even had training on it…no not on how to sexually harass people. I never meant that!

So, what is a secret romance author to do?  If some of my writings were to find their way into the office would I be accused of peddling political incorrectness and risk my colleagues taking my sex scenes as an invitation for harassment?  I decided to seek the opinion of a higher power, the HR manager. 

With great trepidation I sought her counsel. I had confessed at my interview that I was a published romance author but perhaps not just how steamy my books could be. I asked whether I would be in trouble should I be outed. I assured her I had no intention of telling my fellow workers I was an author never mind reveal my pen name, nor would I be setting up a table in reception to peddle my smut. Even when she probed I refused to divulge my secret identity however when she asked if my books were Mills and Boon I did confess they were a little bit racier than that.  She assured me there would be no problem and my secret was safe with her. Her parting words to me, “I wish I had a secret identity, it’s really cool. It’s like you’re superman or something.”

So, there you go. By day I am a mild mannered accountant and by night a vigilante author leaving a trail of love and steamy sex scenes in my wake.


Lillian’s latest work is available at

Accountant Emily Armitage is stuck in Sydney for the weekend, working on the numbers for a hotel sale while fighting off the unwanted attention of her boss. However, things begin to look up when she steps onto her balcony and meets the man of her dreams. When her new neighbor delivers room service, along with a shoulder massage, delicious foot rubs, and easy charm, she succumbs to the obvious attraction. Having spent a passionate weekend together, Monday morning brings an unwanted revelation. Randy's been keeping secrets that could change her life. Suddenly uncertain, she is forced to make a choice between her career and a man who adds up to perfection. Should she stick with the hotel acquisition or take a chance on their passionate new merger?

To learn more about Lillian and her books visit her website.

Thanks for joining us at KC, Lillian!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Naughty or Nice?

You know this time of year the question is inevitable. Have you been naughty or nice?

When I was a kid, the answer was simple. I just had to run through the standard checklist. Was I doing my homework? Brushing my teeth? Keeping my room clean and minding my manners? Check, check, check, check. I was a pretty well behaved kid if I do say so myself, so I usually didn’t worry about getting coal in my stocking.

As I got older, the line between naughty and nice began to blur a bit. Did I call out sick from work when I really wasn’t? [Who doesn’t need a mental health day now and then?] Had I adjusted the bathroom scale so at ten pounds it registered zero? [I was only fooling myself.] Was I putting regular gas in the car and telling my husband it was premium? [The car didn’t seem to know the difference.]

Now that I’m well into my 40s I don’t worry about which list I’m on. Naughty is a given for someone who writes racy adult romances and plays with vampires and gargoyles. I do still try to be Nice as often as possible, but I know which way the scales are tipped. Santa and I have an understanding these days. I leave him the homemade cookies with extra chocolate chips and some hot buttered rum, and he leaves me presents as if I was at the top of the Nice list. None of the elves are any the wiser.

So tell me, which list are you on? Have you worked out any deals with Santa for him to overlook your naughtiness?

Don’t forget it’s not too late to fill up your stocking Kindle with bargain priced books for the holidays!

And be sure to drop by Friday when romance author Lillian Grant will be here telling us about the secret life of a superhero.

Monday, December 5, 2011

What's on YOUR wish list?

Last year I wished for a smooth release of THE FIRST VICTIM, a new agent, and a new book deal, and, amazingly, I got all three. (I'm repped by the ultra-fab Victoria Marini of Gelfman Schneider and she sold my humorous crime novel to Avon Impulse.)

This year I'm wishing for a smooth release of CONFESSIONS OF A SLIGHTLY NEUROTIC HITWOMAN on January 24th and that Victoria will sell my next book. (It would probably help if I sent it to her, lol.)

There are other things on my wish list this year.

An herbal wrap for those days when I've been hunched over my computer for hours.

A new digital timer. (I love timed writing sessions!)

Spiral notebooks. (I'm a notebook addict!)

Tell me Killer Friends -- What's on your wish list? A new computer? A book on writing? A desk? A class? A workshop? A retreat? A gift card to your favorite writing cafe?? A new printer?

Friday, December 2, 2011

Writing to fit the Characters

Today's guest blogger, Patricia Bates, wrote her first full length romance by the time she was in junior high. Ever since then, she's been combining her love of history and her passion for writing to produce sexy historical stories in various settings.

Today she's is going to tell us what happens when characters have a different idea than the author of how a story is supposed to go.

As an author, there are few things in this world I’m not willing to explore. What happens within the pages of my books isn’t a reflection of me but rather the characters. So what happens when you’re suddenly writing something the characters have issues, or hang-ups, or just plain don’t even want to think about? Um mass confusion, more than one embarrassing interview, and a husband who looks at you like you’ve lost your mind when you tell him you want to learn how to tie a knot.

Recently, I started writing a what I intended to be short steamy romance where there heroine had some major sexual issues. She’d survived a horrific relationship, a b**ch of a mom, and was absolutely virginal when it came to sex and having an orgasm. She hid behind a mousy appearance rather than admit she’s an attractive girl with a lot going for her.

With all her hang-ups I tried to think of ways to get into her head, get to the bottom of what her repressed nature was. To be sure I got the grasp of what it meant I decided to talk to some who are in the know so to speak. I’ve posted questions on a loop *wink* some of us may know – Romance Divas an amazing group!! – to ask questions about bondage and such and get some feedback. Turned out it was invaluable and completely honest, which lead me to a different direction with the characters. Their feedback also let me think the plot through again and make a few major tweaks I think enhance the story.

Then with my face burning like a dry razor burn, I did the unthinkable. I made an appointment with one of the adult stores in town and went to talk to them about bondage, and such – it didn’t go well at all. The bondage got forgotten and instead it turned into a discussion on how to get a girl to let go without force or doing something really, really drastic like tie her to a bed and tease her until she’s begging for it.

Interesting enough, there were things I’d never once thought of. So, with some suggestions in hand, my mind racing with images of muted lights, and a man who wouldn’t stop until she was satisfied, I headed home to the computer to plot and work on interviewing the heroine.

She was more than a bit reluctant to talk, but she caved with a little convincing. As she spoke, as I got to know her, I realized the short, steamy little novella wasn’t going to work. The plot, the themes, were simply too complex, too in depth to just cram it into 5-10k and leave it. Why I’m sitting with a six page outline, a hero who steams the heroine’s glasses with just a look and a snooty Mother wallowing in misery because she’s such a witch.

This story – which I’ve tentatively named Five Alarm Lust – is still sitting on my hard drive, still unfinished though there’s a lot of work on it already. Why you may ask? Because as great as this story is, and as steamy and sexy as the lovers get, I’m just not really ready to finish it, Gillian (my heroine) has a bit of exploring, a bit of learning to trust again left to do. Until then, I’m content to just poke at it periodically and let her grow into the woman Jack knows she is.

You can learn more about Patricia's characters - the ones who do cooperate, at her Website, and her blog, Of Ink and Quille.

Thanks, Patricia, for joining us at Killer Chicks!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Book Lovers Buffet!

I skipped my Wednesday post so I bring all you book lovers some good news today. A group of dedicated authors have gotten together to provide readers with a smorgasbord of specially priced books for the month of December. [Click on the button or the link below]

At the Book Lovers Buffet, dozens of authors are offering their books at $0.99 each for the entire month.

You can find Contemporary, Erotica, Fantasy, Horror, Sci-Fi, Historical, Inspirational, Mystery, Non-Fiction, Paranormal, Romance, YA, and Women’s Fiction all listed on the gorgeous blog site.

Each book can be found on sale at, and/or Smashwords and many at all three sites.

So if you’re looking to load up your Kindle, Nook or other e-reader device to treat yourself for the holidays, buy for friends or family or just to feed your need to read, visit Book Lovers Buffet and load up – you won’t gain a pound!

Special thanks to the talented ladies who designed the site and worked tirelessly to bring it all together:Carly Carson, Vivi Anna, Jennette Marie Powell, E. Ayers, Linda Andrews, Deb Hale, JE Hopkins, Jill James, Renee Pace, Barbara Phinney, Nina Pierce, and Stephanie Queen.