Friday, December 23, 2011

Battling Resistance

Nearing the end of a novella that I'd like to submit sometime in January and every day is like going into battle. Every story I've ever written suddenly seems more promising, more tempting, than the one that is closest to being finished. With me, resistance often comes in the form of indecision. It was a novel. Then it was a novella. Past the 100 page mark, nearing the big scene and resolution, and suddenly I'm back to, hmmm, maybe this should be a novel.

Resistance Be Gone You Evil Beast!

There. I feel better now.

Sunday, December 18, 2011


A couple months ago I put the book "The War of Art" on hold at the library. It arrived on Friday, but I got busy and forgot to pick it up. Saturday was one of those days where I could not keep my butt on my stool, or my mind on a story, any story, and I'm currently working on three. Finally did what one has to do in such a situation, got Starbucks and went shopping. I did get a present bought, and spent time with my daughter so it wasn't a waste of time, but still, I'd wasted several good hours in the morning. While out, I picked up my library book. It's not a long read. I sat down with it after dinner and didn't get up until it was finished. Of course, reading the book was another form of procrastination. I read it a second time before the evening was over. It was time well spent. I now know a new name for 'can't keep butt on chair mind on story' syndrome. Resistance.
I'm paraphrasing here, but it works like this; millions of years ago humans survival depended on being a part of the clan. To abandon the clan and its rules meant certain death, in the same way that being a 'trekky' means you are destined to be shunned by the popular kids, and have to eat lunch alone, or with the other geeky kids. Creative work goes against our society's 'be like everyone else' mentality. It makes us different, and being different is actually rather terrifying. Most of us don't admit this to ourselves, but the subconscious knows, and it fights, fights, fights, to keep us safely within the boundaries of the clan.
Our biggest fear isn't failure: it is success. Sounds backwards, but if we succeed we are different. We stand out. We risk rejection. Rejection is THE BIGGEST FEAR. It means being thrown out of the clan, and starving to death in the wild. But we don't live in caves anymore. Rejection does not mean death. It's merely uncomfortable.
I can live with uncomfortable. So you think romance is trash and erotica is porn and anyone who writes it is---not a nice girl? I can live with that.
I will conquer resistance and write my story (as soon as I'm done with this blog. And have read the Sunday paper.)
Next up, I'll start the caveman diet, since our bodies still function best on what we ate a long, long, time ago. Then I'll get skinny and wear fashionable clothes and fit in with the popular people---sigh.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Joined Twitter Today!

I am officially a tweeter. One more thing to do instead of writing. I've been going round and round on what pen name to use for future stories and have decided to use Tammy Jean Paradis for Romance that is not erotic. As fun as it was writing Betty Being Bad, I've realized that most of my ideas fall into 'steamy' but not 'turn on the fan hot' category. Jean isn't going anywhere though, she still shows up for the good parts.
Next up: a website. I think I'll wait until I get another story published before I do that. No more procrastinating for me!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

That Bieber Boy

I just read a little news article about a Justin Beiber look alike being teased by fans at a basketball game. Turns out the kid is deaf and couldn't hear their taunts anyway. It got me to thinking that if People magazine were to do a 'Prettiest man alive' contest he'd not only win, he wouldn't have any real competition that I can think of. I cannot, offhand, think of anyone, male or female, with a more beautiful face than Justin Beiber.
I feel like I should get to the point of this blog now, but I don't really have one. This is just me procrastinating, when I should be working on my story. My current plan is to finish a 10-15 thousand word novella and submit it to Entangled Publishing by the end of the month. I'm almost to 7,000 words and it's coming along well. I like the characters. I like the story. So why am I having so much trouble keeping my butt planted on this stool and my mind on Night With Johnny? After two or three sentances I check the word count, as if the right number of words will mean that it's finished. The problem is that endings are so darned hard! Beginnings are fun and exciting! In the beginning anything can happen. By the end, it has to be clear that something significant has happened. It's romance, so we all know what that something is. Sex, love, and happily ever after. Easy right?
Yeah, uh-huh, right.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Turkey day

Got to love Thanksgiving, the day when gorging oneself is not only acceptable, it's expected. Usually the guilt doesn't kick in with me until the next day, but this year family members got into a long discussion about health and dieting, while the remains of dessert were still on the table screaming, fatties! Oh, but it was good. What's a food lover to do? I used to go through phases when the goal of being thin took over my life, and became an obsession. This could last months, nearly a year at times. And then one day, a change comes over. It's usually as simple as a question. Remind me again, why I'm not eating Bismarks, or chocolate chip cookies, or whatever, and the goal vanishes as suddenly as pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving. The voice arrives like one of those little devils on the shoulders, and this voice tells me I must, now make up for all those mo

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

A good love story

You never know where you're going to find a good love story. Hubby was flipping through the channels and we ended up watching Rocky. Yes, The Rocky, 1976 movie of studly Sylvester Stallone as Rocky Baboa. I clearly remember people talking about the sequals, wondering how long they could go and all that, but until last night I'd never watched the movie. What a surpise to find such a great love story in a movie I assumed was only about an underdog boxer. I mean, who wouldn't want to be Adrian, in that dumpy apartment with all that muscle, attached to an imperfect but honest guy who sees beyond her meek, shy exterior, and loves her for who she is. My favorite scene is when stands up to her brother and tells him off. After, she is perfectly composed when she asks Rocky, "Do you want a roommate?" and he says "Absolutely." I guess I'm a hopeless romantic. I love the idea that right person can help us to be our best selves.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The Vanishing Condom Incident

Can I use the word condom in the title of a romance? It's a romantic comedy, steamy but not erotic, and I'm seriously considering calling it The Vanishing Condom Incident. Previous titles were Good Clean Sex, The Motorcycle Salesman, and Talk Me Into It. I've also considered calling it Talk Me Out Of It. If this seems a bit contradictory it's because there are several characters going in different directions, into and out of relationships thay may or may not be right for them. Below is the page that gave me the idea for my latest title.
(Ann is wearing a jacket that Steele, the motorcylce salesman) loaned her before taking her for a test ride.)
 Steele explained a few things, like where to put her hands and how to lean with the bike, before Ann got on. Once he started the engine she held tight to the handles on the sides of the seat, and closed her eyes. When she finally managed to open her eyes she saw that they were driving through a picturesque countryside, past old farmhouses, green pastures, horses, cows, barns that had fallen into disrepair, and an old rusted tractor. Just as she started to relax, the bike took a sharp turn and started up a steep hill. Ann feared she’d fall right off the back and land on the pavement.
The bike came to a stop at the top of the hill, in a small park. Ann took off the helmet. Steele set hers and his on the bike. The park was well maintained and very quiet. A cool breeze whispered through the trees. “It’s pretty up here.”
“The view is amazing,” said Steele.
To Ann’s surprise, he took her hand, and led her to the edge of the hill, so they could enjoy a spectacular view of the valley below; squares of farmland as beautiful as any painting.
“I had no idea this park was here,” said Ann. She felt a little odd about him holding her hand. It seemed fast since they weren’t even on a date and he was officially still working.
“I used to bring dates up here when I was teenager,” said Steele.
It was not hard to imagine; back seat with a pretty girl, hormones on overdrive, windows steaming up…Ann was feeling a bit warm herself. It was only the sun of course, though the air was still cool. The hand that wasn’t being held felt cold. Ann put it into the jacket pocket. She felt a hole in the lining, heard the crinkle of plastic, and pulled out what she thought was a candy wrapper.
 It was a condom. Extra large. Extra sensitive. Ann felt her face heat up another ten degrees.
“That wasn’t in my pocket?”
“Well, it sure wasn’t in mine.”
Steele took the condom off her palm. “I thought I lost this.”
He looked distressed.
“I know they’re a bit expensive, but there are plenty more at the store.”
He shook his head. “You don’t understand. This is no ordinary condom. If I had found this the night---well, let’s just say my whole life would be different right now.”
“What did she give you?”
His left eyebrow raised a notch. “A son. What were you thinking?”
“I work in a pharmacy. I know of all kinds of things she could have given you.”

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


October is my favorite writing month of the year. The busyness of summer is over, there's no sunshine to distract me and no major holidays that require shopping, not unless you count buying Halloween candy, and that's not time consuming. I throw all the best chocolate into the cart, far more than I know I'll need for trick or treaters, and that's it, I'm done. So I won't be writing much here, or checking Facebook as often, because the stories are flowing, and I want to get as much done as possible before life gets busy again.

Monday, September 26, 2011

To Write or Promote--That is the question.

I've been deep into my next story, and feeling guilty for not doing more to promote BBB. What is more important for my career plan, doing guest blogs or getting another title published? It's the writer's chicken and egg question. (And that whole thing just blows my mind.) If I write it they will come, right? (No sexual pun intended.) I am a big fan of Field of Dreams. Build a baseball field in the middle of Iowa and people will just wake up one morning, get in their cars and drive straight to the cornfield to watch the ghosts of Baseball's past play ball. Yeah, uh-huh, right.

Word of mouth sells books, or so I've read about a million times. But you have to lead the mouths to the story before they can start yakking right? (No offense dear readers, I'm sure you don't yak.) I read The Tipping Point, a few years back and found it fascinating. It starts with a few people thinking something is cool, nerdy shoes for example, and then a few more people decide the same thing, and then something miraculous happens, and it becomes a major trend. (Okay there is more to this, as 'what's his name' did write a whole book on the subject.) I enjoyed the book. When his next book came out I picked it up at the bookstore, read a few pages, and wasn't wowed. I left it on the shelf. My daughter read an essay in school written by the book's author. She said he was whining about all the reasons his second book didn't succeed. He blamed everything except THE WRITING.

So, the moral is: If I write it WELL they will come. Unless of course, they've never heard of me or my story, in which case I should be out there PROMOTING. Sigh.

I know, no one ever said this was going to be easy.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Well Behaved Woman Never Make History---as published on Sizzlin Hot Reviews

Marilyn Monroe was just beginning her film career, in the early fifties, when nude photos of her were ‘leaked’ (anyone else envisioning a man with a wet spot on his trousers?) These photos ended up in the first edition of Playboy magazine. This should have been the kiss of death for an actress during a time period when women were usually depicted with a smile on their face, a broom in their hands, an apron on over their prim cotton dress, and a pair of simple black pumps on their feet (ever done housework in heels? What’s that--- only when you’re in the French Maid costume? Yeah, I thought so.)
Seriously, I believe that what saved Marilyn’s career was not the changing times (remember, the photos turned up in the first Playboy) but was due to her reaction to the photos. She did not hide her face in shame. None of that ‘fallen woman’ crap for her. Marilyn took ownership for what she’d done. No excuses just yep, that’s me. (It kind of reminds me of Hugh Grant on late night television sheepishly admitting that yes he was guilty of lewd acts in a car with a streetwalker. Confession is good for the soul, and apparently, the ratings as well.)  
 More recently there have been several attempts by others to follow in Marilyn’s footsteps. However, nude photos aren’t enough anymore. These days it takes a sex tape (leaked of course) for the semi somebody’s to become, well, reality stars. Isn’t that everyone’s dream? For Paris Hilton, it wasn’t enough. (Seen her face on a tabloid lately? Me neither.) While researching this deep, thought provoking, article, I looked up Kim Kardashian. I even forced myself to watch the first ‘free’ minute of her sex tape. OMG! Enough said. (If you know my real name please don’t tell my mother about this. Or my kids.)
Anyway, the point of all this is…oh wait, was I supposed to have a point? Let’s see, I started with the title, Well Behaved Women never make history, because of, oh yeah, because of Betty Walker, the heroine in my novella, Betty Being Bad. Betty wears a nightshirt with this motto on it. Her lover (a bad boy himself) assures her that she doesn't have to worry about being well behaved.

Recycled Blog---This one appeared at Book in it Reviews

For me the best part of writing is getting the chance to be someone else for awhile. It’s like acting but without the paparazzi. And believe me you wouldn’t want to see my beach body plastered on the front of a tabloid while you’re standing in line at the grocery store (not unless you need some diet incentive.) The cool thing is I get to be both the man and the woman in my stories. Does this make me bi-sexual? Shhh…don't tell my husband.
No really, I enjoy being the hero. For years I was afraid to write from the male point of view because I thought I’d get it all wrong. Now I realize that men are just like us, but with penises. Okay, not really, but there are similarities. Such as, they like their penises and so do we. And isn’t romance really just a matter of how we get the key to fit into the lock? I always put the key in upside down first and then I have to turn it over. Maybe it’s good that I’m female. Then again, I guess that’s better than putting the key in the wrong door. Uh, honey?
Anyway, I had a lot of fun writing Betty Being Bad. I got to be Betty Walker, sexy, independent, antique store owner, and her reformed bad boy lover Carson Wells.  Now I have to admit, I’ve never been in prison. I couldn't steal a crumb without being overcome by severe guilt spasms, which reminds me, I really should pay back Plaid Pantry for the three penny candies I hid in my sock when I was six. Even so, it wasn’t hard for me to imagine being locked up. In a way we are all prisoners of our own fears, shames, and desires. To exist in polite society (put down the cell phone and ask yourself, is there really such a thing anymore?) we have to rein in and edit everything we say (unless our first name happens to be Snooki.)
            Seriously, when Carson is released, so am I. When he corners Betty in her store and insists on making good on the fantasies they shared in the prison visitation room, I’m right there with him, feeling his pent up desires, emotions, and that oh so powerful need for release. And then I get to be Betty too, on the receiving end of all that lust. Whew, is it getting hot in here?
            This is why it’s best to write erotica when alone, with the blinds closed. The ‘acting out being your characters’ thing can get a bit awkward to explain if you’re caught. Oh, is my face red? I hadn’t noticed. (If you’re over forty five you get to blame hot flashes.) It’s also why I prefer romance over other genres, horror for example. I don't want my hubby coming home to find me sharpening the kitchen knife with an evil gleam in my eye. I’m sure he too, would rather find me red faced and panting. And if he’s imagining me looking like Angelina Jolie, and I’m picturing Brad Pitt, so what? At least they’re married.
            So, close the blinds, turn on the fan, and visit Betty and Carson at Red Sage Publishing.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Gotta love ED commercials

Watching TV last night when one of those commercials came on. Remember when 'those' commercials were for tampons and pads? Pretty young women doing gymnastics with stupid smiles on their faces. Uh, huh, sure." Now we have ruggedly handsome men in their fifties and sixties, doing studly things, while an announcer gives us this warning "For erectile disfunction lasting more than four hours seek immediate medical attention." It's the 'immediate' part that gets me. If the situation doesn't become urgent until the four hour mark, does that mean that three hours and forty-five minutes is perfectly okay? I'm having this vision of a studly guy sitting in his four by four in the hospital parking lot desperately tryig to alleviate the uh, 'situation' before he has to walk into the emergency room sporting a woody, and tell the woman at the desk what his problem is.
"Come on over here sweetheart and let me save you a few hundred dollars. I'll fix you right up for 50 bucks."   

Thursday, September 1, 2011

What Blogging and Graduation Speeches have in Common.

So, I've been perusing other blogs lately. I'm not actually sure if  'perusing' is the right word but I like the sound of it. Say it out loud with me, perusing. Anyway, I've been reading other blogs and I've come to the conclusion that blog writing is a bit like speech making. Ever sat through an excrutiatingly long graduation ceremony? How long does it take before your mind begins to wander?  If they start with something funny, or profound, I'm good for a couple of minutes. Then I start to notice things: the baby three rows away gurgling and drooling on Mom's new dress, the Grandpa asleep with his mouth wide open, the guy in the suit, glancing around to be sure no one's watching before he slips his used gum under the seat, that sort of thing. I will admit, I've never been a good listener. This is either due to a case of undiagnosed ADD or an intense need to be constantly entertained. Whether it's a speech, a blog, or fiction, it has to grab me from the first word, and hold me captive, gasping for air, until the last word--- or it has failed. This may sound a bit harsh (is that you I hear, snoring in the back of the room?) but really it's what writers must strive for. Boredom is the enemy, and we must fight him with everything we've got! Ice pick anyone? 

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Guest blogging

Woohoo! Got some guest blogging going on! Going to be at Book in it Reviews on September 1st!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Down and Dirty

Kids are both at college, and my wrist is mostly healed from surgery, so it' time to get down and dirty. And when I'm done scrubbing the floors I'll get some serious writing done!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Where Does the Time Go?

Summer is flying by. Just took my youngest to college. I'm done crying (for now anyway) and ready to dive in and get some serious writing done!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Summer Lazy Summer

Weather has been great! I recommend that everyone get surgery so you can lie around all summer. I've been working on a contemporary, not erotic, romance, and taking a little time each afternoon to lie in the sun and read. I haven't felt this free since the summer after high school, which I spent reading, daydreaming and working on my tan. My parents were in no hurry to push us out of the nest and I took my time easing into adulthood. My goal was to get married, have four kids, stay home with them, write novels and become rich and famous.

Turns out, everyone has the rich and famous dream. Imagine if we all succeeded? There would be paparrazzi on every corner. Or is it their dream too? They'd have to turn the cameras on each other. What craziness that would be. And there wouldn't be any room left on the grocery store shelves for food; it would all be tabloids. We'd spend our time reading about each and arguing over who is the most famous.
I hate having my picture taken.
Sigh...I guess I'll just settle for writing a good novel, and hope people want to read it.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Borders, We'll Miss You!

Sad to hear that it's official. All the Borders stores will be closing their doors. I've been meeting my writers group at a Borders for more than ten years now. I'm sure we'll find a new place to meet, but it will never be the same. The changes that are taking place in the publishing world are pretty scary, but I believe that good storytelling will endure. It's only the medium that is changing. It has to. Someday this time in history will be referred to as 'before and after the Internet.'
As for enduring, once upon a time stories were told around the campfire, harrowing tales of Uncle Bunga nearly being trampled by an angry mastodon, but using his wits to outsmart the beast and living to tell, and embellish, the tale. We all know that the publishing industry is a dinosaur. It can't stick around forever. While some book publishers, like Tricerotops and Tyranosouras, are destined for extinction, others, think fish, lizards and birds, will stick around forever in some form or another. I did read that some in the book industry fear that paper books will vanish and we'll stop reading altogether. If that were true I would have stopped listening to music when cassette tapes died out, and stopped watching movies when DVDs replaced VHS. Get real people. We will adapt. Stories and we who write them are here to stay, we just look different. And on a positive note: electronic books can't be burned! That's especially good news for those of us who write erotica. 

Friday, July 15, 2011

Link to Betty Being Bad


Numbness wore off. Thank science for percocet.

So, Stephen King admits in his book, On Writing, that he wrote Cujo while drunk. Does this mean that instead of reading/dozing all day I should have been whipping out pages with my good hand? I've been told that I spend too much time overthinking and overanalyzing everything (thanks mom) so maybe drugs are the solution. I'll just let loose and see what comes out. Rabid dogs and psycho clowns? Oh wait that's been done. I know, I'll write a teen romance about a hot vampire, and throw in a werewolf for conflict! Hmmm, that feels sort of familiar too. Wizards and Witches anyone?

Maybe I should stick to what comes naturally to me. That other writer who lives in my mind, the one who focuses on plot more than sex, is currently working on a romantic suspense. She was very excited about it until she heard from those who went to the RWA conference that Romantic Suspense is dead!

What I want to know is who killed it? Another sub genre bites the dust--- and it's not vampires, or demons or shapeshifters---but my current genre of choice. Figures.

What Now?

Back to the clown? Beneath the rainbow wig and the painted on smile, is a well endowed, steaming hot vampire who just escaped from Shawshank prison and is searching for his life mate; a shape shifting hermaphrodite werewolf, who is on the run from a blond bounty hunter named Dog, who is distracted by a black cat who then shifts into Halle Barry...

...maybe I better wait til I'm off the pain meds.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

I Survived!

Sugery today. So far not as bad as i was expecting. We'll see how i am tomorrow when the numbness wears off.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Don't Pray For Me

I'm undergoing surgery for wrist tendinitis in five days. I almost had this surgery done last year, but at the last moment I backed out, maybe because one of my customers, on finding out, immeditaley said a prayer for me. It freaked me out a little, made me feel like death was a real possibility. It doesn't help that I always remember unusual and frightening  stories of unexpected tragedies. Like the couple who chose to improve themselves by getting liposuction. The woman went first, and died on the table. The man decided maybe it wasn't such a good idea, and canceled his surgery. Understandable, I'm thinking. And then there was the story some years back, of the author of The First Wives Club. She went under the knife to have that little bit of fat under her chin removed, and, you guessed, died under anesthesia.
I think I'll keep my extra chin. And my love handles and laugh lines---but maybe not the gray hair. I don't think anyone has ever died from hair dye. I should look it up. No, I shouldn't.
I suspect I'll live through this, but if this is my last sure and read Betty Being Bad, as it is currently my only published story.
Along with all my other projects I'm working on a novel that has lots of plot, and only a little sex. I need at least one story that I can proudly show my mother, daughter, son, in-laws, etc.
So, wish me luck, but please, don't  pray for me.

Friday, June 24, 2011

A new first page for Good Clean Sex

Good Clean Sex

“He’s gay.”
“He’s not. You’re just jealous.”
Jason Fillmore was not jealous of the exotic dancer his fiancé had chosen for her bachelorette party. He knew for a fact that Javier Sanchez was gay.
Brooke Quimby leaned forward in her desk chair, peering more closely at the screen, as if she expected his sexual orientation to be tattooed on his smooth brown chest.  “He is awfully pretty. What if you’re right? It’ll ruin the party.”
 “It won’t ruin the party. No one will even notice.”
“You noticed.”
“I’m a guy. We have gay radar. Anyway, I could be wrong,” said Jason feeling only slightly guilty for the lie. He didn’t want to hurt Javier’s chances for good tips.
“Well, it’s too late to book anyone else,” said Brooke.
The bachelorette party was in two days, the wedding in three.
“I’m sure he’ll do a fine job,” said Jason.
Brooke stood up and turned toward him. Her hair was honey- blonde, her eyes pale blue, and her body slim and shapely. Jason had known her since middle school, when he’d thought of her only as his best friend’s annoying little sister.
“Are you sure you don't mind me having this party?”
“Of course I don't mind,” said Jason.
“But it doesn't feel right that you aren’t having a bachelor party.” She put her arms around his neck.
Jason rested his hands on her tiny waist. “I don't feel the need. Anyway, my best friend is your sister and I can’t picture Kendra hiring strippers, and throwing me a bachelor party.”
 Brooke’s pretty mouth twisted into an ugly frown. “She might like it. I’ve wondered for a while now if Kendra is a lesbian and in denial. I mean she’s twenty-three and she’s never been in a relationship.”

I decided to try starting this story with a diferent point of veiw character. Does this beginning work better than the other one?

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Slacking Off

I was planning to keep up on my blogging, but this damn tendonitis is slowing everything down. I'm scheduled for surgery on July thirteenth. Trying to keep a positive attitude about it. It will be so nice to once again be able to write with both hands for more than a few minutes at a time! I'm working on a short story that I plan to submit to a Cleis Press cowboy anthology and I'm thinking that Eternal Ecstasy will be my next novella.
Happy Reading everyone!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Eternal Ecstasy first page

Eternal Ecstasy

Chapter One
Ivy Winston was pretty sure she wasn’t crazy, but it worried her that her roommates didn’t hear the grunts and moans and screams that awakened her mid-day. The row house Ivy shared with three other women was only a few blocks from the hospital where she worked the graveyard shift as an emergency room nurse. It was in an upper middle class San Francisco neighborhood and there were no mental hospitals or sex clubs nearby to explain the sounds that seemed to be caused by two very different emotions, agony and ecstasy.
Desperate for a good days rest after a grueling weekend of tending to the sick, injured, and stupid—a man who shot his own foot while cleaning his gun, and a teenage boy who nearly drank himself to death on a dare—Ivy fell into bed late one Monday morning positive that today she would sleep like the dead. And then it began. One woman kept crying oh God, oh God, before abruptly changing her tone, and cursing God. A man uttered one uh, uh, after another but just when Ivy expected to hear a satisfied end grunt he let out an anguished cry.
Ivy didn’t know whether to be jealous of what these people were getting, or dismayed at the lack of happy endings. Either way, she couldn’t stand another minute of not knowing who and where these people were and why they were getting so much, when she couldn’t even remember the last time she’d had sex. Okay, that wasn’t exactly true.

Pick a favorite!

We all know the importance of a good first page. Grab the reader with the first line, and keep em hanging on every word until the last page! Simple right? And if we cut a hundred calories a day and walk for ten minutes, we'll be bikini ready by June 1st! Yeah, uh-uh, right. Still, I love writing first pages. As I've mentioned before, it's kind of an addiction. I can spend weeks, months, years even, revising a first page. Of course it doesn't do much good if there's no last page. I've posted the first page for Betty, which sold to the first publisher I sent it to (Red Sage) and the first page of two works in progress, Good Clean Sex, a steamy contempory and Eternal Ecstasy (comedy erotic demon story) I would love to hear from you on which one you like best and if these first pages would entice you to read the second page.

First Page of Good Clean Sex--- Does it grab your attention?

Good Clean Sex
Sitting at her kitchen table, laptop open in front of her, Kendra Quimby read the profile of thirty –year- old business owner Pierce, for what she guessed was the tenth time. Pierce was by far the most attractive man who had responded to her ad with the dating service.  Six feet tall exactly, 170 pounds, dark hair, a goatee, and dark blue eyes. He’d never been married, wasn’t a parent, didn’t drink or smoke, or own a pet, and admitted to being a bit of a neat freak. He liked games of all kinds, with the exception of mind games. He was looking to meet someone ‘real’, someone who didn't read tabloids, idolize pop singers, or watch reality television.
Everything he’d written jibed well with Kendra’s own qualities and interests. For two days now she’d been coming back to this page, staring at his face, trying to see what kind of person resided behind those intense blue eyes. She hadn’t yet responded to his suggestion that they chat.  
Kendra kept telling herself that he was too good looking. She had a nice figure, but considered her face to be quite average. Her fashion sense was non existent, her style basic, bland even, or so her sister always said. ‘A little color wouldn't kill you Kendra.’ For God’s sake put on some blush, you look like you’re headed for the morgue.’
 Every birthday and Christmas Brooke gave Kendra some inappropriate, useless, gift. There was the pair of Peacock earrings, with giant feathers, the bright red lipsticks and nail polishes, colorful scarves, and a zebra striped belt. Kendra kept them all in a box in her closet. The day that Brooke had announced her engagement, to the man that Kendra had been in love with since the eighth grade, Kendra had wrapped the box in wedding paper, and put a huge bow on it. She planned to give it to Brooke as a wedding present, as it represented all that Brooke was, and all that Kendra wasn’t. If Kendra had been more like Brooke, would she be the one marrying Jason Fillmore?

First Page of Betty Being Bad

Betty Being Bad

 “What are you wearing, Betty?”
This was the cue that Carson wanted to play the game. If Betty answered, ‘white cotton panties’ the visit would remain casual. Betty had promised herself that from now on it was the only answer she’d give. She’d even practiced saying the words out loud on the way here. So why was she hesitating?
“Its Ray today,” said Carson, tilting his head in the direction of the guard.
Ray was the nice one. He overlooked small infractions and even joked with the prisoners. Still, Ray had nothing to do with Betty’s decision. It was the look of expectation on Carson’s face that did it. She didn’t want to disappoint him. Betty scooted her chair closer to his. “I’m wearing the thigh-high black boots and the black leather biker vest.”
“And under the vest?”
“Nothing. It’s so tight Carr that it pushes them up and out.”
“Pushes what up Betty?” Carson’s light brown eyes opened wide, in mock innocence.
Betty had always loved his eyes, even back in middle school when she found him annoying. In the years since, their relationship had gone from friendship, to flirtation, to a few drunken make-out sessions, and back to friendship again. The game wasn’t changing anything, Betty told herself. It was just a way to add a little warmth to his long cold days. She sat up straighter, as if she really were wearing the vest, as if Carr were at this very moment eyeing her cleavage, rather than the front of her navy turtleneck, sweater-dress. “You know what.”
“Say it for me,” said Carson.
“You know I don’t like to use those kinds of words,” said Betty pressing her knees together and primly folding her hands in her lap.
His hand came to rest on hers. “Please. For me?”
Betty faked a sigh, “All right but just this once.”

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Another seven pages today!

Seven pages. I'm on a roll with this one. I just have to keep going...all the way to the end. Wish my wrist wasn't screamng at me. PT is not working. As much as I hate the idea of surgery, it's starting to sound like my best option. I read in the paper that chronic pain affects brain function. I now have an excuse for being forgetful and unfocused, and thankfully it's not early onset of Alzheimers. Healing the pain is supposed to heal the brain as well, and my brain definitely needs work.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Seven pages today!

It's been a long time since I've written seven pages in one day. It's slow going since I have to take constant breaks to rest my right hand. Stupid tendinitis. I'm fifty one pages into Good Clean Sex (formerly called Take Me Tonight) and feeling pretty good about it. Hoping to find an agent for this one, and go the traditional route. Only about 250 more pages to go!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Betty is out!

As of today I am officially published! Betty Being Bad, a contemporary erotic romance is at Red Sage Publishing.

Monday, May 30, 2011


Watched the newest pirates movie with the family today. We sat close to the front which got me to thinking that some faces just aren't meant for close ups. That Barbosa is one ugly dude! I found the fight scenes rather tiresome, though I don't actually get sick of Johnny Depp. How can a man be hot when he has gold teeth and wears too much eyeliner? I just don't get it. I guess it's one of life's mysteries. I especially enjoyed the romance between the cute bible toting guy and the mermaid. It reminded me of Splash. Maybe I shouldn't admit this, but I love that movie. It's just so romantic. Got to love Tom Hanks.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

First Love

You know that feeling you get at the beginning of a relationship? The one that makes the sun shine brighter? At first you just know that this  person is 'the one.' He/ she is everything you ever dreamed of. The possibilities are limitless---until you discover that first flaw. You know then, that more will follow. It won't be long until the fun times feel a little less fun, and the relationship, at times, even feels like work.
Starting a new story feels exactly like this. It occurred to me today, that this is the reason I have so many beginnings, and so few endings. I'm addicted to the exctiment of starting something new.
It's time for a new addiction: the thrill of writing the words, The End

Monday, May 23, 2011


I guess it's time to face reality and lay the 'quit the day job' dream to rest. For now I'm stuck with ringing up groceries. I've tried to come up with better job options, but keep coming across the same problem: they all involve work. Who came up with this system anyway? Why can't we creative types get paid to daydream? That's the only thing my brain is really good at, anyway. My body is failimg miserably. Or at least my hands are. I have tendinitis so bad I have to do most of my writing with my left hand. I'll probably end up having surgery. At least I'll get a few weeks off from work. Got to look at the bright side, I guess.
Read over my Demon story today. It's better than I remembered. I'm thinking I might actually finish it, but I can't guarantee anything. Another reality I've finally faced involves goal setting. It doesn't work for me. I'm too much of a rebel. As soon as the adult me puts a goal into words the child me screams, I'm not going to do it and you can't make me! I suppose I could try putting the child me in time out for awhile, maybe just long enough to finish another novella. Wish me luck.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Is anybody out there?

As I was trying to fall asleep last night this thought came to me--- How do you know when you've crossed the line from positive thinking and dreaming big, to kidding yourself and becoming delusional? Common sense tells me that I should believe all those publishing professionals who say it's damn near impossible to make a living from writing fiction. So why do I cling to the fantasy that if I work really hard, and write really good stories, eventually it will happen? I suppose the answer is obvious, I've spent most of life in a make believe world where good stuff happens to nice people and bad stuff only happens to the mean icky people (nevermind that I made them up too.)
 Another thought has occurred to me. What number constitutes making a living? If all those experts are talking about fifty grand a year, then yeah, that's a bit high for most writers. I make half that working part time as a grocery clerk. (Don't take this personally grocery shoppers, but I don't want to wait on you anymore.) So here's my plan, I'll convince my husband that he needs a new  hobby, such as becoming one of those extreme couponing freaks who get a 1,000 dollars worth of groceries for free. (He'll only be allowed to go through the lines of clerks I don't like.) This would save us ten thousand a year. Then I'd only need to earn fifteen thousand a year from my writing.
This still seems a bit steep. I've got it! It's brilliant. I'll put out an ad to all the women who read my upcoming erotic story, bragging that the hero is actually my husband, and then I'll sell thousand dollar raffle tickets. The winner will get one night with him. Surely this will bring in another fourteen thousand a year. If my math is correct, I now only need to earn one thousand dollars from my writing this year. I can do this! This is great, perfect, amazing. Or am I becoming delusional?

Friday, May 20, 2011

what I'm reading

For mother's day my son bought me "The Year of Living Biblically." It's a humorous, but well researched book about following all the rules in the bible. I personally gave up on the bible after reading the whole thing about stoning your bride on her father's doorstep if you discover that she is not a virgin on your wedding day. I have some issues with the whole 'abomination' thing too. Just read a line that I feel the need to share. Is it plagairizing if I site my source? I hope not. Here it is. "A friend of mine once said that we shouldn't underestimate peoples ability to hold totally contradictory opinions and be just fine with it. It's a uniquely human trait like speech and blushing."
It's nice to know that I'm not the only one guilty of this.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


I just spent the day editing the proof of Betty Being Bad, while taking care of my daughter, who had her wisdom teeth pulled today. Considering what she's been through, I think I'll pass on complaining about my back aching, and my eyes stinging from staring so intently at the screen. Never again will I feel critical of a little typo in someone else's published work. After a while, you start seeing what you think is there, what should be there, and not what actually is. (It's like those first few months of dating, when you're still in the honeymoon stage, and you believe him when he says he only drinks a beer now and then.) Still, writing beats the heck out of ringing up groceries which is what I have to go do  now. Yippee!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Writing Away!

I've been deep into a new story, so haven't written anything here in a while. Okay, I admit it, I've been working on more than one story. When it comes to romance (the fiction kind) I simply cannot remain monogamous. I've changed titles several times already, but at the moment I'm calling the new erotic story, Take Me Tonight. It's about a woman who has been in love with the same guy since her teenage years, but he sees her only as a friend. When he becomses engaged to her sister she is of course, heartbroken. Her solution? She sets out to lose her virginity, and that's all I'm giving away. The idea is from a short story I wrote years ago. The short version left out all the juicy details. This one won't!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011


I spent eight days making the revisions my editor asked for (Betty Being Bad) and just heard back that she's happy with it. Very exciting! I've learned so much since my manuscript was accepted. I did, after all, think it was finished and as good as I could get it when I submitted. I was wrong. Editors really do know what they're doing, at least mine does. (Thanks, Tash.) Every one of her suggestions made perfect sense to me. This made revisions fun, as opposed to a chore. Of course, this could be because I LOVE to write, and my goal is to give my readers the best story possible.
It is because of this goal that I've decided to set aside the time travel story. I've always been drawn to stories that could really happen, and characters who could be someone you know, (like that really hot guy in your apartment building. Or you.) So from now on I'm going to stick with my strengths and focus on contemporaries. This has greatly reduced the number of stories on my 'in progress list'. Fewer stories means more time to work on each one, and faster finishing times. I hope to have another novella ready to submit to Red Sage by the end of summer.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Author page!

I just checked in with Red Sage and saw that my author page is up! Got butterflies in my stomach when I saw it. It's really me! Or rather it's that other me, the one who writes really sexy romance and is of course slim and pretty and all those other things I've always imagined a romance writer should be. The me that is sitting on the sofa in sweat pants and a snuggie watching How much is my car worth? (until my husband changes the channel anyway) is not nearly as much fun as Jean. I think it's this other me that is struggling with my next novella, the time travel story. She keeps trying to write a serious, sad, single title romance, (with a happy ending of course) and is resisting being Jean. It's not easy being two different writers. I can't begin to imagine how Stephen King (aka Richard Bachman) or Nora Roberts (J.D. Robb) manage to keep all their selves straight. Of course, I can't imagine finishing a novel every week and a half as Nora Roberts seems to do. Does that woman ever sleep? I've tried to forgo sleep for writing, but not even the magic of coffee can compensate for the lack of dream time. Could it be the lack of awake dreaming that's causing the trouble with Chastity and her prince? I've been trying so hard to 'write' the story that I'm no longer 'dreaming' it. Writing is hard. Daydreaming on paper is much easier, and more fun. I'm going to work on Chastity's story first thing tomorrow morning. First thing being after nine hours of sleep and two cups of coffee of course. Wish me luck.  

Thursday, March 17, 2011


I just read The Help. You know how some books are so good that you can't wait to get to the end and see how it all comes out? Well, this isn't one of those. This book is so good that I didn't want to rush through it. I didn't want it to end too soon because there's no telling how long it will be before I pick up another book this good. I didn't want to leave Jackson Mississippi in the 60's. I feel I've been allowed into a world I would never have known otherwise, which of course, is what all good fiction does. The maids lives were fascinating, but so were the lives of the southern white women.  When I was reading about women who spent their days telling the maid what to clean and how to care for the kids while they went off to the country club to play tennis or have lunch with their friends I couldn't help thinking about my own mother. We live on the west coast. My mother raised six children during the sixties, seventies and into the eighties. She did not have a maid. She did not even have an occasional babysitter so she could take a little time for herself. My father worked swing shift but like most men of the time period his presence meant more work for my mother rather than less. My mom did it all. When I look back on the tantrum throwing, foot stomping, hitting, screaming, crying, hair pulling, mud playing, snotty nosed little monsters we were, I can't help thinking how amazing it is that she didn't sneak out one night and forget to come back. Those spoiled southern women had no idea how lucky they were to have help. Or maybe they did. Change did not come easy.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Mean Rotten Inner Critics

Well Tine, since you brought up the subject of mean nasty inner critics who exist only to insult us and make us feel like dirt, rest assured, I have one of those too. I find that it helps to envision, and even name this woman, (or man) and then when she's standing right in front of you shaking her head and wagging her finger in your face telling you that you suck, you look her right in the eye and tell her to shut the **** up! This really does help, especially if you do it regularly, and mean it. If my critic needs placating I tell her she can speak up later, in the revision process, but only if she behaves herself. The first draft is daydreaming on paper, it's playtime and the child in us needs to be free to have fun and create without criticism. So, sit your butt in the chair, relax, and have fun!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Smooth Sailing---Not!

This week I'm on vacation from the day job (will that be paper or plastic? What? you want me to put your food in these smelly dog hair covered cloth bags? They are washable you know!) Sorry, went off on a little tangent there. Anyway, the plan was to sit around the kitchen in my jammies, drinking lots of cofee and spending hour after hour blissfully lost in my imaginary world. I should know by now that you can't plan for great writing days. They happen. Or they don't. I haven't been able to keep my butt on this stool for more than fifteen minutes at a time all week. (Unless I was checking out the blogs and websites of other rcrw members, which has been very fun.) I actually thought about cleaning my house, but thankfully I came to my senses before I started down that long tedious road. (Sorry, Honey, I know you work hard all day while I sit on my butt but if it helps any this stool is hard and my butt hurts.) As for my project of the moment, tentative title, Chastity's Prince Charming, every sentence has been a chore. Some have been downright painful. I've been very tempted to work on one of my other projects, but giving up when things get rough has been the story of my writing life. I have more 'novels in progress' than Nora Roberts has finished ones. So I've been sticking it out. Sit. Write a sentence. Get more coffee. Check E-mail. Write another sentence. Eat. Think about exercising. Eat again. And then it happened. I experienced the deliriously wonderful break through that I've been waiting for all week.  I know what's going to happen next! I'm so excited I can't wait to work on it! Just as soon as I finish this blog. And go for a walk. And eat.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The Princess in all of us

A few weeks ago I caught a few minutes of a radio talk show on the subject of popular culture, the media, and in particular, disney princess movies, and their effect on young girls. The idea was that girls are becoming far too interested in their appearance, boys, and sex at younger ages and that it has a negative infuence on their self image. One caller agreed. A second caller surprised the host with a different view of princesses. She is the mother of a three year old girl. She had the child while in an abusive relationship. She has since left the man (whew!). This woman is not worried about her daughter's love of princesses because to be a princesss means being treated like, well like a princess. I interpreted her comments this way: princess doesn't just mean wearing a pretty dress, it means being confident and beautiful and special. Princes don't put down their princesses. They don't hit them. They treat them with all the love and respect that they, and we, deserve.
My all time favorite princess just happens to be an ogre. She is beautiful on the inside. And she can belch better than any man. And who didn't enjoy watching Fiona take out Robin Hood's annoying merry men?  If you haven't seen Shrek, go rent it. Seriously.
Thanks to all who are reading and commenting. When this computer illiterate writer figures out how to comment on your comments you'll hear from me!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


Ooops, I did it again. As Dan from my writer's group pointed out (thanks Dan) I used an ' on the end of Demons when it is not a possessive. I really do know the rules but it seems I do this a lot, and often miss it when editing. Does anyone else have one of these annoying little bad habits? How do you/we overcome it? Maybe it's demons. Those pesky little buggers are always cropping up and causing me trouble!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Jean Paradis

Demon's are one of the hottest trends in romance fiction right now. They are right up there with vamps and werewolves. I've never been particularly attracted to fangs or fur, and the whole blood sucking thing just doesn't do anything for me. I mean, have you ever tasted blood? Ick. But the demon thing, well that one has me intrigued. I've always had a thing for bad boys and what is badder than a demon? So when one showed up in my rather warped imagination I quickly made him the hero in one of my current stories. (I always work on more than one story at once and have six erotic romances in progress, not including Betty Being Bad, which is set to be released with Red Sage in June.)
Because of my sudden interest in Demons I was naturally excited when, on Christmas, a book called How to cast out demons (a beginners guide) showed up in our family's white elephant gift exchange. I stole it from my niece who then, to my dismay, stole it back. Lucky for me, at a recent family gathering my niece's mother secretly gave it to me. I opened it full of enthusiam, sure that I would get useful information on the world of Demons. Turns out, it is not quite what I was expecting. This book is absolutely terrifying. Written by an Evangelical Christian it explains all the ways that demons can infiltrate our minds and how we can keep them out. Entering any church other than the evangelical one is really dangerous, for example, and one must say a cleansing prayer first. Education also puts one at greater risk. If you go to college you might get all kinds of strange ideas that go against the church's beliefs leading you away from salvation and into sin. My personal favorite involves those who were born out of wedlock. Being conceived 'in lust' can cause one to have problems with lust later in life. I really feel sympathy for all those married evangelicals who manage to concieve children without any lust being involved. I think I'll stick with fictional demons, they're much more fun.