Friday, July 18, 2014

Hey Ma! Look! It's a Demon!

First and foremost, tell us a little about yourself. A mini-bio, in three sentences. Go!

I am a wife to the most supportive husband ever and mother to three awesome boys!  I am a fast food junkie and chocoholic (Oreo Cookies are a personal favorite of mine which I have to have when I write).  And I am a hopeless optimist and dreamer!

What part of the day motivates you most?
I get my best writing done in the evenings and at night.  Right after supper, I’m usually on the laptop typing away!  There’s just something about darkness that gets me in the frame of mind that I need.  The sun goes down and the creative juices just start flowing!

Dr. Who, Dr. House or Dr. Seuss?
I just started watching Dr. Who not long ago since so many people that I know are huge Whovians.  I just had to see what all the fuss is about.  I immediately fell in love with Amelia Pond and the chemistry that she has with her Dr.  So yeah Dr. Who all the way baby!

Do you ever find yourself torn between what YOU want for the character and what ACTUALLY ends up happening?
Yes and no.  With the Leila Stone: Memoirs of a Demon series, I basically knew exactly what I was going to do with this book and I also know with the next.  After that, I have no clue though.  With the book that I am currently working on, it’s been a whirlwind!  I started out thinking that I had it all mapped out.  Then in chapter one, it started taking twists and turns that I never imagined!  It’s really like I’m not even the one writing it sometimes!

If you could choose any writer, who would love to have as a mentor?
I have the best mentor there is, in my opinion, the wonderful and talented Torie James!  *big smile*  I couldn’t ask for anyone better so I won’t even try! (Torie James, reading this as she prepared the blog, got vereeee teary eyed and wants you to know how proud she is of you! <3 font="">

Do you have a particular style of writing? Organized or do you wing it?
I try to organize myself and get a general layout set up, even if it’s just in my mind.  I even print out pictures of people that are the inspirations for my characters and put them up all around my dining room, which is where I write at.  But, as I mentioned earlier, the story constantly evolves on me and I end up winging a lot of it!


I was created by Lilith shortly after she was kicked out of The Garden of Eden for failing to submit to Adam.  God cursed her to eternal life in darkness and without Him.  She created my brother and sister just before making me.  Seeing Adam and his new wife Eve as the source of all her troubles, Lilith made it her business to do everything in her power to fuck up their world.  Perhaps it was because she felt that they were lesser beings than she was.  Lilith was made to be powerful, even before she was cursed to the life that she led for so many millennia.  Lilith trained us to hate the humans with a passion that burned as hot as her own.  My first great accomplishment came about twenty years after Adam and Eve had their first child, Cain.  Yes, I am responsible for inciting the first murder that the world has ever known; although, it was nowhere near as difficult as you would possibly imagine that it was. 
I had infiltrated Cain’s life and his bed about a year before the killing happened.  He had often spoken to me about how he knew that his parents, and his Lord, favored his little brother Abel over him.  Yes, Abel was the golden child; he was the handsome one, the hardworking one, the perfect one.  He was the one that had to go.  

Friday, July 11, 2014

A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes? Hells Yes!

I'm uber happy to say that my first "live" appearance as Fab & Glam OAFQ went amazingly well.  I was blown away with the evening's event on every single level and it's hard to believe I almost ditched my own gig when the "cold feet" tap danced over my self confidence.

Thank the Gods for a supportive family, the best friends anyone can ever be blessed with, and my wonderful and warm network of New Camelotians!

We were almost late because of the Girl Who Would Be Queen (me) as we were halfway to Barnes and Noble when I realized I'd left my banner at home. Since I was driving, I shifted the Falcon into hyperdrive and we sped back, grabbed Le Banner and got back on the road. I told my mother to just close her eyes as my driving was a cross between the Fast and the Furious and Cannonball Run.!

My scheduled time was 6-8pm and I'd be sharing a table with smexy Historical Fiction Authoress, Rachel Demeter, who turned out to be a sweet girl and kindred spirit. First thing I saw as we pulled up? A huge sign outside the front doors….

I almost cried. Me! Torie James! My name in connection with B & N? Who'dve thunk it? Mom, Sister and I took a moment to just drink that in and then we raced inside to get set up. This is one of the more "trafficked" B & N's so there is generally always a healthy amount of peeps looking to get their read on and last night was no different.  I felt like a Rock Star, despite my nerves, which I always cleverly disguise under the mask of loud and brash. I had a bottle of ice cold Fiji Water with my name on it on my end of our table but the best thing by far?

Sitting there in pretty, glossy stacks were copies of Timeless Night and Timeless Desire! 30 books in total. Two more signs graced the upper and lower levels of the store and I tried to busy myself with laying out the grab bags and goodies I'd brought with nervous glances at the time. I'd spent the day getting fancified and researching these types of events online. New Writers….it didn't look encouraging for us. I made myself sick with the pro's AND con's, reading them until I could recite each bit of "advice" in crack-head detail.

So I did what I always did in these cases and hoped for the best but expect the worse.

6 pm came and went. Tick Tock. Tick Tock. Luckily, both Rachel and I had our familia's and were able to relax in simple conversation as we all got to know each other. Rachel and I whispered in low asides to one another about game planes and brill ideas. I got a bit disheartened…there was plenty of customers but no one was really paying us much notice. Even though we literally at the front door!

Then I glanced at the time on my Darth Vader watch again. 6:20pm. Heavy sigh.


I didn't have the chance to look at the damn thing again until after 8. AFTER 8!!!

It started with a trickle of new customers as they walked in, some heading our way, drawn by the huge bowl of candy that Rachel had the wisdom to  bring. Oh…piece of candy! Oh…piece of candy! That's right my little ones…step into mah web, said the spider to the fly!  Candy grabbing led to inevitable conversations. Some patrons liked Rachel's genre (Historical) and gravitated her way but barely gave me a smile. But on the other hand, I attracted my own little crowd. Those keen on smexy Paranormal shenanigans and looking for something new. Now, I could have sat back and simply smiled, nodding at the appropriate times but not really interacting. But that's not my way.

I have always operated under the theory that there are no strangers, just friends I haven't met yet. I'd forgotten how much I genuinely love people and getting to know them in these types of outings. I'd spent so much time the last few years perfecting my crazy ol' recluse act that I'd let go of the fact that I AM a social creature and love, love, love meeting new folks. The good news is this is such a natural transition for me, I eased right back into my butterfly mode!

In the midst of greeting people, I was also blessed with the surprise appearances of several friends I'd made online! People whom I consider my family to be honest, cyberspace soulmates if you will. The best part was seeing them, knowing them and just throwing your arms around them and silently thanking the Fates for making that moment possible. Carolyn, Lyn and Brent….you done made me tear up! You traveled so far just to spend a few minutes with me and that…..well…you'll never know how much it meant to me. I love you!

Another lovely surprise was looking up and seeing another author from my family at Breathless Press walk in! Lady Brantwijn! Girl, you threw me for a loop but I am so happy you showed up and stayed the whole time, as did a few others. It was awesome sauce to meet you, B, and I can't wait to do ComicKaze with you!  You rock!

There were moments where I lost my breath, moments when I looked up in the midst of signing book to just stop and look around. I saw some of my friends and fans talking TO each other and laughing, having a good time. Some only met last night. And yet, there they were, mingling and making memories. And that is the true magic and the one thing that made me prouder than anything. I didn't know what to say when the niece of a fan showed up and bought book 2. She'd read Timeless Night and was hooked! She couldn't wait to read more and asked so many questions about New Camelot I wanted to hug her. So I did! *grins* Another lady, a coworker of a friend of my mother's, showed up and although she'd read both Ebook versions, wanted print copies as well! She made me cry hardcore when she told me she never was much impressed with "first timers" but I'd changed the game! ME! WTH?

*watery laugh* I've started crying again…but happy tears only! It was a lovely experience I hope to know again. I hadn't even realized we'd gone past our time until I just happened to glimpse a wall clock. It was 8:15! And people were STILL at our table! It was surreal and unforgettable! I didn't actually leave until about 8:50 pm. *winks* Last minute sale and sign!

So…now what?

I'll tell you what! We are just getting started! As it stands now, I'll be making a couple more appearances at other Barnes and Noble stores as soon as we can get it set up. The Community Manager, Lady Shay, was impressed with the turnout and said she hadn't seen such a gathering for any brand new authors in a long time. *squeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee* We're going to attempt to gather up a few more local area writers and do a panel. Brantwijn and I are going to ComicKaze in L.A. over Halloween weekend. HUGE turnout is expected and we're gonna shag that thing hard!

I made new connections, made new plans and got to hug people I've been dying to meet. I signed books, talked shop and even gave good advice to a new fan about writing. I got to listen to a gnarly Dr. Who debate rage on at the table. Brantwijn showed me a lot of smut on her Kindle. *winks and blows kiss* I watched my normally introverted sister interact with strangers and smile as she did it. She even grabbed some flyers and freebies to take to the upper level and gave stuff out. I got to see the gift bags I'd made (full of pretties from some of the most talented people I know!) be received with awe. I heard compliments about some of the goodies, preened with praise when people told me how much they loved the covers of both Timeless Night and Desire! (Lady Victoria..THAT WAS ALL YOU!! YOU ROCK!). I was so happy last night. Not just myself but for my friends who contributed to the bags. You guys have some new fans now too!

It was the best feeling. I wish you had ALL been able to be with me. But I had you in my heart and that made it precious. Because for those few moments when I did falter…I heard your voices in my head….loving me and encouraging me, just as you've done all along.

This small success….its yours as well as mine.

And I hope, a dazzling example of what can happen for YOU, when you dare to take a risk. It won't just fall in your lap. So, are you going to go kick ass or what?

Thursday, July 10, 2014

The Big Day (Or Am I Still Dreaming?)

So. The Big Day has arrived.

You know, had you told me a year ago, I'd be getting ready to attend my first official Meet  & Greet/Book Signing, I'd have thought you were high. Add to that, it being Barnes and Noble, I'd def have asked you to pass the pipe.

But no, it's for absolutely, sobering REAL. I was perfectly fine right up until Tuesday of this week. The Prime Minister of New Camelot (my Lil Mini Me, my baby sister, Wendy) and I had gone shopping for some last minutes accessories (gotta dress the part you're playing, you know? 'Sides, despite my best efforts to bring pajama wearing into the daily mix of all countries everywhere as haute kewl fashion, even I know I must needs dress up now and again) and right there, in the middle of our excursion, I got clammy cold, my heart raced, my ulcers went Defcon 5 while I blinked and turned to Wendy.....

It's funny because it's true. I'd been waiting for it...the Panic Attack. Between the day I'd gotten the offer from Lady Shay at Barnes and Noble and that day...nothing. Nothing but proud excitement and a curious detachment as I had a thousand other things to keep me busy and pleasantly occupato. And honestly? There was the huge percentage of my inner doubt screaming it was just a lovely, choco induced dream from which I'd awake soon. Mini meltdowns in the middle of outside mall, in 100 degree heat wasn't on my agenda but hey, don't you know?

Let's backtrack a bit…

Once upon a time, in shady Santa Ana hospital that later turned into an insane asylum (which explains a lot about me, eh?), a bundle of squirming joy was born to the fairest princess in the land. The princess was young, beautiful, smart and elegant. Tall, blonde and blue eyes that sparkled like a shining, calm sea under the sun at noon. The eagerly awaited birth of her little one was sung through the land. She would be all her mama was; beauty and grace, intelligent and ethereal.

I'm pretty sure that was the drugs they gave my mom, talk about mind f*****g. The reality is that I was  odd right from the southern gate, coming out arse first and pretty much telling the world to kiss my sweetly rounded baby bottom.  The poor Princess was screwed.

I was nothing like my sedate, calm, together, Grace Kelly gorgeous Mum. Not in looks, deportment, coordination, personality, etc. I was the girl that got tagged by other kids in school. Chubby, freckles, a wild mass of frizzy, thick hair (I was River Songing it before it was mainstream….just saying!) and blessed with a curious mind that transcended anything this mere human world offered me. I was the girl who developed before her other gal friends, asked totally embarrassing questions out loud and in public. (Ex. Age 10, lunchtime, playground. Sitting at a table, reading something someone scratched onto the surface. "What the hell is a boner?" True story, people!). I was the Class Clown, the laughing girl with the sarcastic edge and ability to sub reference pop culture before I even knew what that was! 

I cursed, wore sneakers with skirts and was some freaky hybrid of Goth/Steampunk/80s fashionista. I was the lass who clearly didn't belong on the junior high cheerleading squad but tried out anyway because I felt us Chubby Chicks needed representation. I listened to Duran Duran and went to hardrock concerts. I singly handedly kept Aqua Net in business for a good 7 years. I was no gorgeous Fairy Princess..but rather the Giddy Troll who lived under the bridge. Personally, I think we all have beautiful things about us….things that make us..well..US! But I'd wake every day, indulge in 2 hours of hair arranging and make uppery fun only to realize….yep….

I didn't have a hellish childhood. I treated life as a cosmic joke. I was the first to make fun of myself in any situation…but most importantly….I knew myself. And I was comfortable with who I was. For a very long time.

I was born knowing what I wanted to be. I wanted to be a magician. A witch. A Goddess. A Demon Hunter. Nancy Drew. Batgirl. I wanted to travel space and time. I wanted to have wild adventures with the monsters under my bed and visit far off lands where the grass was purple and the sky was pink. I wanted to fly, to leap, to dance and to sing. I wanted to be a lost duchess or a disinherited governess. I wanted to be Jane Eyre and fall in love with Heathcliffe. I wanted to paint and invent a time machine. I wanted to find the lost city of Atlantis and ride on the back of the Loch Ness Monster. I had a mission! I knew who I was!

I was feisty, in love with life and determined to live the dream I had envisioned. I could BE all those things…..I could. In writing. I wanted to spin tales of beauty and pain. I wanted to know true love and undying loyalty. I wanted to pain the sky with poignant anguish and unmeasured pleasure. Oh! I wanted it so bad. I could do it! I could be all that and do all that.

Ah, the arrogance of youth…the folly of the ignorant. See the thing is..when you challenge Fate like that, she feels compelled to give you what you need in order to get it. Not WANT..but NEED. Read the fine print, people.

 You know that story…

I grew up. I got lazy. I forgot all those wonderful dreams under the harsh taskmaster of Wisdom and Experience. I got married, got divorced, did drugs….a LOT…got clean a LOT…did more drugs….oh did I. I stole from my family, friends and in a desperate attempt to escape being lonely, kept settling for fucktards who were sex addicts, drunks, druggies or commitment phobic. I took the great gift of life and fucked it to death. Yes, I did. I ruined my life…and the lives of some around me. I became the villain. I was a horrid person.

Then I woke up one day and decided I was never going to be the princess in the tower, that lovely and unreal girl who had princes lining up ten deep to climb up her hair and save her world. Because I DID inherit something from my Princess Mother. I inherited strength. And stubborn persistence. This wasn't going to be how my story ended….no way.

I wanted to be the Queen. I wanted to save myself.

It was hard. It took a long time to get to where I am today. I have lost things I will never get back. I have severed relationships that will never be fixed. I have lost the love and trust of a lot of people. Because there are some things that sorry can't fix. Ever. And I had to accept that, let go and move forward.  That little girl I once was…she died. And sometimes the girl must die in order for the woman to be born. I turned 18 a vereeeee long time ago….but its only been in the last few years that I fully embraced my womanhood. When I took back control and said…No More. No more wasting time or this beautifully flawed life of mine.

Is life perfect?

Um fuck no.

 The last two years have really opened my eyes further to the world around and inside of me. I've struggled with relationships with people, both in friendship and lurve.  I have shared secrets with the wrong people who turned around and betrayed me. I have embraced enemies pretending to be friends. I have seen myself shredded and maligned by little people with little minds whose own lives are so viciously ordinary they can't deal and instead turn their inner misery and pain outward. But I didn't get this far only to wimp out and let anyone win.  Being optimistic isn't always about being happy. It's taking what gets thrown at you and saying "I'm not letting this get me down." It's falling down seven times and getting up eight. Look, this world is dark and scary. Lot of bad things and people in it. You can let it destroy you, and I did for a long time….or you can get right up in the world's face and spit in its eye. Be what YOU want to be, not what others THINK you should be. You have so much to offer and rise to. Don't let naysayers drag you down…..

I am so thankful for my struggles because if I hadn't had them, I wouldn't have stumbled across my strengths. I had a choice to make….stay on drugs and die a miserable lonely death by overdose most likely. I would be mourned by a few, damned by the rest. Or…I could rise like a Phoenix from the ashes of my own destruction and MAKE MY MARK IN THIS WORLD. To be what I knew I could be if I just stopped listening to fear and the opinions of sheep. I was lion….time to act like one.           

Yeah…I finally grew a nice set of lady balls and took the road less travelled. Bumpy as hell and full of detours but I am on my way. All those things I'd dreamed of being? All those adventures? I am finally taking them. I'm finally fulfilling my destiny. I once, long ago in a dark moment, asked the Universe...why? Why was this my life? I hadn't planned this...this Mongolian ClusterFuck of pain and disappointment.....the Universe answered....

I didn't keen to that answer well. And then I remembered someone. Some....thing.....

Torie James was born shortlyt after my 13th birthday. I remember that day. It was after school and my crew and I were sitting in this little park we hung out at afterschool sometimes. Big ol' shady trees and stuff, green grass. We'd always swing by the store and pull together our change, buying cans of soda and choco donuts...then we'd sit a spell and divvy it up and This day, I had kind branched off and was sitting under a tree, the sky was pale blue and the wind was fair. I took out my journal and was writing in it (i was forever scribbling in that thing!). I'd known at age 7, that I wanted to be a writer. By age 10, I knew I wanted to write romance. (Shush...I was reading a LOT of Barbara Cartland...she was totes prim and proper. One kiss throughout the whole book and that wasn't usually until the end!). I was just doodling with names. At the time, my given name was Teri Schuffert which sounded totally dull and booooorrrrinnnng to me. I wanted something that would have pizazz and mystery. Something cool and chic. I loved the name Victoria..Tory. Nah. Torie. Yesh! Ohh I like that! Now for a last time. It needed to flow. I happened to be in love with Nick Rhodes from Duran Duran then...still am...shut up...and his middle name was James. Hm. Torie. James. Torie James. 

It wasn't too late. I wasn't too old. Dreams....amazing things...they have no expiration date and generally die due to lack of neglect. I couldn't die with that regret over my head. I had survived drugs and health crises....I could at least ....try....take the leap....make the move...

And I did. I took myself right out of that tower of fear and the unknown. Opportunity didn't knock on my door. I kicked that shiz down. Nothing to lose really at that point.

And everything to gain. A newfound sense of confidence, a hard fought for respect for myself and watching my dream become something that resonated with ....


My like them, too!

I couldn't be happier. Even if I never write another word...or have another book published. Its about the climb.....only THAT is real!  And I climbed that mountain! I sure fucking did. 

*deep breath* Today, in a few hours, I'll be sitting in Barnes and Noble. People will be shopping. Conversation will be made. Maybe some will buy my books....or they won't. It's all golden! I never thought to have what I have..right now. So..anything else is just icing on the cake of my new life. 

Thank you. Thank each of you reading this. For believing in me. For having my back. For supporting me. For always being honest and encouraging. You helped me find the fully and without find myself. Guess I was heading home after all...just the long way around...

And many years from now...when I'm a blue haired, old curmudgeon with wrinkled skin and dentures I constantly click in and out of my mouth just to annoy people, when I'm asked about this ...feeling, this unparalleled joy, this beautiful dream.....

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Hoppin' Blog & Thangs

Holy Smokin' Balls of Fire!

My good friend and brother of the heart, Aaron Speca, totes tagged me to be part of this crazy blog hop. Now, I'm one of those odd ducks who likes to plan things out, rarely do I jump on board with anything remotely approaching spontaneous but Aaron made me an offer I couldn't refuse…oh wait.  Wrong

So, a little intro in the wacky gray matter for those who don't know me; my street cred and koala-fications are as follows:

I attended Juilliard... I'm a graduate of the Harvard business school. I travel quite extensively. I lived through the Black Plague and had a pretty good time during that. I've seen the EXORCIST ABOUT A HUNDRED AND SIXTY-SEVEN TIMES, AND IT KEEPS GETTING FUNNIER EVERY SINGLE TIME I SEE IT... NOT TO MENTION THE FACT THAT YOU'RE TALKING TO A DEAD GUY... NOW WHAT DO YOU THINK? You think I'm qualified?

*long pause, cheeky grin* Forgive the zany, I'm coasting on 3 hours of sleep and only one cup of coffee at this point so all bets are off. So…ever onward, let's turn up juice and see what shakes loose. My Beetlejuice references doing anything for you? Anything at all?

This blog hop focuses on "The Writing Process" so settle in and join me as I take you through the minefield of my 'magination. No refunds, no returns  and thank the Gods there are questions to answer or I'd be wandering around with no limits and that can get messy!

What am I working on? 
Currently, I'm working on "Timeless Seduction", which is the 3rd book in my New Camelot Series and focuses on a much maligned figure in Arthurian folklore, Mordred Lothian. Now, I'm not saying he's a shining hero or even a loose interpretation of a sexy anti-hero. Mordred doesn't fit into any nicely carved niche and there is no way to label him. Mostly, I think he's a jerk. But I'm starting to realize why and can't wait to share his story with the world.

I'm also dabbling with my tales based on the youngest Greek Fate, Clotho. Another mythological character who never seems to get positive PR. But that's what I'm here for! Clotho (or Cloie, or Lady Fate, or Bit…she has a lot of nicknames. Most are not repeatable.) has become both dear and special to me for various reasons and seeing as I am one of those peeps who truly believes in Fate and Destiny, I like to think she chose ME to tell her tale. It's also fun as I'm working with a writing partner on it whom I wholly respect, love and admire. We are slowly fleshing out the backstory as well as the contemporary and I can't wait to really sit down and give it my full focus.

How does my work differ from others in my genre?  My "thing" is taking old ideas and putting unusual spins on them. For example, my New Camelot series takes on the premise that there is no such things as 'vampires', per se. Fairy blood, when drank by a human being, produces odd side effects, fangs and an aversion to sunlight are just two. It centers more on the elemental magic of nature. And I'm really proud that I've taken a bold step in making such things like Excalibur exist…but not quite in the way we've read before. I also love writing about completely unconventional women who aren't afraid to be themselves in a world that is constantly urging them to fit in.

Why do I write what I do?  In all honesty, I had grand plans to be the next Anne Rice. I was a vampire only girl with blinders on; I wanted to create vamps of exquisite pain and longing and yada, yada, yada. Got sidetracked though when I took a walk in a forest and found a sword sticking out a rock. Now, I can't imagine writing anything else.

How does my writing process work? There is no rhyme or reason to my methods, but a great deal of madness infuses it. I can't simply sit down and write in orderly fashion. I begin with visuals; trolling the internet until I find a model, singer, celebrity who most closely resembles my vision of characters. Then I create a playlist for inspirational music to aid me. Then the research begins and I also begin to loosely outline the backstory. I write chapters entirely out of order; I'm a slave to the muse and the loudest "voice" wins my attention. It may seem chaotic, but its all I know. If I try to sit down and create a precise gameplan, I drive myself bonkers and get annoyed. Half the time, I have no idea of where the plot is going or my characters reactions. It's a bit of organized chaos that is tempered lightly by my desire to never be predictable. After all, originality does not consist in saying what no one has ever said before, but in saying exactly what you think yourself. To give your creations new life, new breath…infuse your writing with YOUR truth. No matter what it is.

Tag, you’re it!

Perci Brooks: The Percinator just signed with Sybaritic Press and her debut novel, My Beloved Demon, should be out by fall. Perci is someone whose drive and passion inspire me daily. She writes in a most elusive field that borders on BDSM, Paranormal, and Manga-esque. It's a huge challenge I'm not sure I could rise to as its way off mainstream and she takes a lot free spirited risks, refusing to "neuter" her charries or ideas. I love rebels!

Krista Kelly: I have had the pleasure of writing with Krista under the guise of Role Play. She is wonderful person with a grip of talent and her debut novel, The Grey Curse, was accepted by Breathless Press (my publisher, too!) and drops this August. I am so proud of her for taking the risk and being brave enough to submit her work. She is more than just an online friend or fellow authoress, she is someone who I look up to and whom I am proud to call friend.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

The Further Adventures of a Mad Woman and Her Magical Sword

It's been a madhouse lately over here at Casa de Nuevo Camelot but I have to say, even though I feel overwhelmed at times, I love it.

I wanted to slow down a moment and let you all know where "we" are at in terms of ..well...everything! Read on mah smexies! And sending love and magic from my heart to yours! I love you guys!


First and foremost: Timeless Seduction, Book 3 of New Camelot, is shaping up nicely. Its taking me me a bit longer to write this one. Not for lack of time or laziness of the muse. It's simply turning out to be "more" than the first two books. Mordred Lothian is a complex dude with a sincere depth that surprises me at time. But mostly, he's still a douche. *winks* Jenalyn "Jennie" Rhodes, she is a tough nut to crack as well, chick has more layers than a damn onion. They are not easy characters to tap into, and just like with TN & TD, they both represents sides of me, my life, my struggles and all that jazz. There are some roads that are just hard to go down. But if I can turn any of that emotional pain into something remotely beautiful, I'm all over it like me on a choco cake. I've already hit over 250 pages of RESEARCH alone on TS. With each book, we learn more about the main players and some of the things that define them. I'm just setting up the chessboard per Merlyn's instructions. Half the time, I'm surprised as much as anyone me! As my world grows, so do the ones inhabiting it. And even during my most curse worthy WTF moments, I am clean amazed that they chose me to tell their stories.

My short story, "Reclaiming the Rabbithole: Checkmate!"was accepted by Breathless Press with a release
date to be August of 2014. We'll be celebrating with month long happies, fun, games, and giveaways as its our birthday month at BP!! Exciting times all around! Great deals on books, so make sure to follow along and def subscribe to our newsletter! You can sign up here:

BP NewsLetter

Speaking of newsletters, I am horribly lazy and need to get back to work on working up one for myself.

Find Rachel at:
On July 10th, in Orange, California, I'll be attending my first evah author meet and greet/book signing, along with my new friend and fellow lady writer, Rachel Demeter, author of The Frost of Springtime, at Barnes and Noble: 791 S. Main St. #100,Orange, CA 92868. 

Both Timeless Night and Timeless Desire are available in both Ebooks and PRINT. I love typing that..just saying. *winks* What's that you say? You need a buy link? I can help!

Breathless Press

Also, a huge shout out to all the RomCon 2014 Reader's Crown Winners! Well deserved and
congratulations to you all!!!

2014 Winners

Young AdultA Taylor-Made LifeKary Rader
Urban FantasyA Touch of DarknessTina Moss and Yelena Casale
Thriller & SuspenseLethal JourneyKim Cresswell
Category RomanceRock HimRachel Cross
Science FictionAngel on the RopesJill Shultz
Sci-Fi/Time TravelHa'ven's Song - Curizan Warriors 1S.E. Smith
Romantic SuspenseThe Slow Burn of Silence (Pieces of You 2)Loreth Anne White
Paranormal RomanceDeath Lies Between UsJody A Kessler
MysteryLuck Be A LadyGemma Halliday & T. Sue VerSteeg
Inspirational RomanceThe Fireman's HomecomingAllie Pleiter
Historical RomanceTemptationSandy Loyd
Mainstream Women's FictionHe Belongs to MeTheresa Rizzo
FantasyTitanian Chronicles - Journey of DestinyLeisl Kaberry
Erotic RomanceSuper NovaJayne Rylon
Erotic RomanceMy Wicked NannyAnn Mayburn
Contemporary RomanceHidden - A Hiding From Love NovelSelena Laurence
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Sunday, June 22, 2014

And On The Seventh Day, True Blood Was Created. And It Was Good.

I was one of thousands (maybe millions? Don't really know, not a big numbers kind of gal) who tuned into HBO on September 7, 2008 to check out their newest offering, True Blood. I'd never read the books by Charlaine Harris (The Southern Vampire Mysteries) that the series was based on. My mother had, was both enamored and impressed so that's all I was basing it on. I'm willing to give any and all versions of Vamps a solid chance but few live up to the standard by which I hold them to; namely Anne Rice's Vampires in general, but Lestat "Brat Prince" de Lioncourt, in particular.

That first hour long episode, titled Strange Love, flew by and by the time those end credits rolled, I was intrigued. Enough to tune in the following week. By the end of that episode, I had decided that while I wasn't ready for a long term relationship, I was willing to make it more than a one night stand. I was falling into heavy "like". So much so that I made for our local Barnes and Noble and bought all the SVM books out at the time and greedily consumed them.

Like begat Love. Love begat Fervent Obsession. I was hooked like back alley crackhead on meth. Only this addiction was far more socially acceptable and I could keep my teeth.

Now, this is where things get tricky and where fans of the show and fans of the books are tossed into the gladiator Pit to viciously maul each other into submission. Nos, qui parum pudici lamia, et torqueri fama lineas salutant. (Those of us who love sexy vampires and twisted story lines salute you.)

I'm not saying who's wrong or right. I can't. This isn't a question that has a definitive answer one way or another. And maybe I'm just a different breed of cat but I love BOTH equally. True story.

It's like having a weird sapiogastic relationship where you're shagging a set of twins and neither knows. You've got the muscled, tongue bath worthy twin who is all about hooking you visually with sleek good looks and dangerous charm, with a goodly dose of witty intelligence via interesting thoughts, actions and consequences (the show) and then there's the twin who's a bit more serious, aiming to show you the layered depths and world that reside inside of it (the books) just as compelling but a bit more friendly than its darker sibling.

As a writer, I'm fully aware that certain things, while fanfuckingtastic on the page, don't always translate neatly or fluidly onto the screen. What grinds my gears are the hard core book purists who have called for Ms. Harris's and Mr. Ball's blood over it. Some say Lady Charlaine sold out when the series came about. Others accuse Lord Ball of bastardizing the books so severely that there is no redemption.

I say ....Garth, your pills? Seriously, simmer down now.

I adore Ms. Harris's books. I've read all the SVM several times over. I have laughed, cried, raged, growled, shouted out, gasped and blinked at the plot twists she slips in. I have hurt, ached, keened, longed for and loved all her characters, even the bad guys or the minor players. I generally finish each novel feeling I know the inhabitants of Bon Temp a bit better, so much so that I feel as if I could just pick up the phone and phone Merlotte's or Fangtasia just to shoot the shiz with Sam or Pam. *see what I did there?*

I feel the exact same about the show. It's allowed different avenues to be explored and envisioned. It's given a bit of longevity and substance to the books that, for me, actually ENHANCE them when I reread them.  The screen translation has surprised me a few times when I thought I knew where it was going because of the book and then....

My jaw is on the floor, my Mom and I are screeching at the screen and my fingers are already texting my besties with the WTF moment.

I was bummed when I finished the last SVM. Did it end the way I had wished it would? No. But then again, and what I think a lot of people forgot, is that these creations, these characters, these living, breathing beings were born from the amazing, talented mind of Charlaine. She, despite mass fan grumbling and bitching via social networking, ended HER books the way SHE wanted, the way SHE had envisioned from the very beginning. Gods bless her for it. Because guess what? That world was born in her, it begins and ends, in her heart. She didn't write for Joe Blow down the road, or Betty Bitchenmoan (OMFG...I AM YOUR NUMBER ONE FAN!) ....

She wrote it for herself first and foremost. If you're reading this and you're a writer, you know what I mean. I'm hardly going to villify her for that.

As for the show, I'm sad its ending but at the same time, nothing lasts forever. The show gave us SO much that the books did NOT. Lafayette for starters. He dies by the end of Book One and I can't picture Bon Temps without him..that sassy bitch! We met the Vampire Authority (c'mon...Roman! Dieter! Salome! The red headed chick who looked just like Sharon Osborne and whose name I can't remember!)...they were bad ass. Luna! Bilith (which although pretty campy, did provide some interesting moments). Andy Bellefleur, whom I didn't much care for in the book, has evolved into a really compelling character.

So, here we are, old friends, on the last season of a show, whether you love or hate it, has made a social and cultural impact on every one who watches it. I cried when I read the very last lines of Dead Ever After:

“But I also knew that if he turned away from me at this moment, somehow I would survive that, and I would find a way to flourish like the yard that still bloomed and grew around my family home.

I'm Sookie Stackhouse. I belong here.” 

And I already know I'm going to cry  when the last episode airs in a few more weeks. It's the end of an era. But, for me, like my beloved Author Goddess, Anne Rice, because of the books AND the show, I will never forget True Blood. 

And whether you love it or hate, neither will you. 

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Easy, Breezy and Teasy with Brantwijn Serrah!

10 Satin and Steel Teasers

Readers are already asking for the sequel to Rhiannon's story! The good news is, the sequel is well in the works, and I'm hoping it'll be accepted and put into edits soon.  In the meantime, I'm feeling like a tease, so I've put together a quick list of tantalizing little hints of what's to come!
1.      The inspiration for Satin and Steel came from Lady Gaga's Teeth. There is an acknowledgment to this in the book, when the character of Vivienne asks Rhiannon, "Show me those exquisite little teeth."
2.      53 years have passed since Lotus Petals.
3.      The character Feste plays the archetypal Shakespearean fool. Which is why he is named after one.
4.      Both the shadiil shadow-walkers and the werewolves of the Blood Circle play a major role in Satin and Steel. Werewolf packs are natural male-dominant; shadiil prides are led by the females.
5.      One of the Blood Circle Councilmen makes an appearance in this book.
6.      Rhiannon's arousal-induced heartbeat is a bit of a metaphor for female ejaculation.
7.      Another character will have their fangs ripped out in this book. I think readers will be very pleased with to find out who.
8.      Rhiannon now carries Aijyn's kaiken knife, and Sölva has developed a phobia of the blade.
9.      We will learn a little more about Rhiannon and Sölva's history.

10.  We will meet Glory, Rhiannon's cousin and another kin-born vampire.

Book cover and blurb
Rhiannon Donovan, daughter to the vampire Queen, would rather die than be made a bride to a demon Lord. Aijyn, courtesan to the undead Daimyo of Kansai, can think of nothing more horrifying than his promise of eternal life.  In the halls of the Blood Lotus Temple, the two women struggle against the chains of their fate, and find a solace in each other that could mean freedom for them both... or might cost each of them their lives.

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Author bio
When she isn't visiting the worlds of immortals, demons, dragons and goblins, Brantwijn fills her time with artistic endeavors: sketching, painting, customizing My Little Ponies and sewing plushies for friends. She can't handle coffee unless there's enough cream and sugar to make it a milkshake, but try and sweeten her tea and she will never forgive you. She moonlights as a futon for four lazy cats, loves tabletop role-play games, and can spend hours watching Futurama, Claymore or Buffy the Vampire Slayer while she writes or draws.
In addition to her novels, Brantwijn has had several stories published in anthologies by Breathless Press, including the 2013 Crimson Anthology and 2014 Ravaged Anthology.  She's also had a short story published in the Cleiss Press Big Book of Orgasm and the anthology Coming Together Through The Storm. She hopes to have several more tales to tell as time goes on.  She has author pages on GoodReads and Amazon, and loves to see reader comments on her work. Her short stories occasionally pop up at Foreplay and Fangs, her blog at