Monday, November 30, 2009

Stuff from a writer...

~It is perfectly valid for “you” to speak of a writing career~

Zoe, this just pisses me off as it supposes I didn’t come up through the ranks, sweating my way, going through what every other new writer goes through.

It supposes I really don’t know what I’m talking about in today’s publishing arena because I’m somehow removed from it by success.

So I have to stop all this and go back to my privileged career—which for me, is continuing to sweat over the keyboard to write a book.

Nora Roberts, November 2009, Comments section of a SBTB

This pretty much says it all. The work never stops. So, in a previous Stuff from a writer... entry, I said come up with a rhythm, repeat over and over again. What exactly does that mean? Well, you need to find your own routine, but here is mine for some hints:

Wake up and check emails. Answer those I can do quickly and add those that will take more time to the day's schedule. Write a blog, if it hasn't been already. Read bloglines, Twitter, and Facebook. Figure out the writing that needs to be done [maybe I have edits to work through or a couple of chapters to write in the current story I'm working on] and get started. It's now around one or two, time to go back upstairs, and get dressed. Next up is admin stuff [i.e. whatever is due to a publisher like blurbs/excerpts/cover requests, other industry folks may need from me like promo stuff, and the more detailed emails need answers]. Back to writing for a few more hours.

When it is all said and done, I try to get about six hours of writing [from research, plotting, to actually writing it all down, and then revising] done a day. If the writing is flowing, then all the admin and blog stuff is pushed to the side for later. No, it doesn't always go according to plan, nor is it a glamous way to spend the day. Life often throws the best laid plans into chaos and you need to figure out a way to work with it.

Find your rhythm and put the time in - let's be realistic here, if you never actually sit down and write, you won't get it done.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Black Friday

Today is commonly known as Black Friday - when shopping for the holidays kicks off in earnest. Maybe because I used to be in retail, but this day holds no appeal to me. So, I typed "black" and another word into Google, and these are the things that interested me!

Black Diamond - I think this gem is stunning.

Black Sargent - John Singer Sargent is one of my favorite artists and this is one of my favorite paintings.

Black Sand - I've been to this particular beach on Maui and found it very unique.

Black - the first image when the word black is typed in, gave me the heeby geebies. It's actually a promo for a site called "watching paint dry".

Now, if you are looking to shop, Gizmodo has done all the hard work. They have a great Black Friday list to help make your shopping easier.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Turkey Day!

Today is a day full of family and traditions. In fact, when I lived abroad, I used to take Thanksgiving thursday and the following friday off. I cooked a turkey - even though the butchers balked because they were all needed for Christmas - and the fixings. The cutie says he misses my "green salad" [its so special, it will never be made public], but I know it's not because he likes it, but because it's traditional to me and my family. Another one of our traditions, no matter where we are on this day, is to sit down and watch "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation".

Kitty gnawing on the lights, squirrel in the tree, seriously overcooked turkey [the mark of Thanksgiving throughout my childhood, sorry Grandpa, but it was so very dry], and Randy Quaid's character on the side of the road, well these and more make me laugh.

Enjoy your Thursday, be there turkey or not.

The picture above is from The Situationist and the link leads to an interesting Thanksgiving article they first posted in 2007, and again in 2008.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Hump Day Reflections!

Yes, I grew up at the beach, and saw so many guys slip into the wetsuits, it stopped being interesting. However, I still think surfers are sexy and since I'm in a beach frame of mind, I thought I'd share.

If you fancy going to the beach, but can't get there, no problem. Here are a few flicks that will take you down to the sand:

Endless Summer
Big Wednesday
Local Boys - hello Mark Harmon!
Lilo & Stich
Point Break
Riding Giants

Fancy a book that dabbles its pages into the sea? Here are a few of mine that do just that:

An Invitation to the World and An Invitation to the World 2 [Dubai]
Drive-In, Coming Together: Under Fire [Southern California]
Extreme Speed, Total Control [Southern California]
OohRah! [Southern California]

Coming Soon is And She Scores! [Southern California]

Yup, in a beach frame of mind.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

eBook Talk!

Here we go, the authors and their work [title and genre] that ARe will be releasing, one a day during the month of February 2010 for their 28 Days of Heart Campaign, with the proceeds going to benefit the American Heart Association.

Exchange of Hearts by G.A. Hauser (Gay, Contemporary)
Tor: Viking Master by Ellen Margret (Historical Ancient)
Timeless Voyage by Cornelia Amiri (Historical Ancient)
Moonlit Watcher by Crystal-Rain Love (Werewolf, Interracial, Contemporary)
A Slightly Different Perfect by Sylvia Shults (Fantasy, Romantic Comedy)
Zero-G by Michele Hart (Sci-Fi)
And She Scores by Tilly Greene (Contemporary)
Wild Child by Shelley Munro (Contemporary)
A Fair Trade by BA Tortuga (Gay, Shape-shifter, Western)
Hell's Angel by Jackie Kessler (Paranormal)
Private Lies by Cat Johnson (Contemporary)
Touch of Fire by Samantha Sommersby (Contemporary)
Bride of Fire by Charlene Teglia (Fantasy)
Protecting Miss Samuels by Summer Devon (Historical)
A Shadow's Kiss by Barbara J. Hancock (Paranormal, Vampire, Contemporary)
Hold Onto the Night by Kari Thomas (Contemporary)
Liberating Lucius by Bonnie Dee (Historical Ancient)
Mad About Meg by Mari Carr (Contemporary)
GPS by Leigh Ellwood (Gay, Contemporary)
Country Loving by Robin Leigh Miller (Thriller, Contemporary)
Unshuttered by Emery Sanborne & Philippa Grey-Gerou (Contemporary)
Vanilla with Extra Nuts by Victoria Blisse (Multipartner, Rubenesque, Contemporary)
Stay with Me by Alisha Steele (Fantasy)
Love is Blindness by Sean Michael (Gay, Vampire, Contemporary)
Angels & Genies by K.F. Zuzulo (Paranormal, Fantasy)
Love Unleashed by Marcia James (Contemporary)
Sea of Sin by India Harper (Gay, Contemporary)
Sweets by E. Cameron Stacy (Contemporary)

What a great mix - I can't wait for these to release!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Stuff from a writer...

Recently, there have been some interesting developments in the publishing industry, and I choose not to go over the facts, rumors, or concerns about them - there are plenty out there who have and, personally, aren't all that helpful.


Because it seems to me that most sites who are discussing the new developements, are actually talking to people who already know about publishing, rather than those who are hoping to be published. That is the group that will potentially be more damaged than anyone else. Of course, everyone is worried about a newbie jumping into a tenuous situation, but, at the same time, they aren't telling them what to do. So, here you go, some very basic, but well-meaning advice for an aspiring author:

1. Writing is a job, treat it that way.
Always be professional, do your research, and then do some more. This means you need to learn all you can about your craft and then read for knowledge, not just pleasure. You also need tot delve deeper into the business of writing and publishing, only then will you be equipped to know what isn't as good a situation as it sounds. There are many sites out that offer news and industry happenings, however, know your source, and be able to trust them implicitly. Be able to tell the muck from gold.

2. Know the business you're getting into, know it very well, and respect its unique qualities.
You must put the time in to understand everything in relation to writing/publishing. Everything.
• Understand contracts and how to handle various clauses, the editing process, royalties, and especially the publishing house(s) you wish to submit to.
• Understand that you must do more than write the book. An author must be able to sell it to a publisher, as well as the public. That means you have to promote it and figure out how to do it in a way that suits you, the book, and your publishing house.
• Understand that no two houses are the same. Before you submit [whether it's your first, second, or twelth book with them], read their guidelines, respect them and the house, and do it as they request.

3. And, ultimately, no excuses, BIC - put the butt in the chair and write.
There is no chance of you being an author if you don't actually do the work. Yes, it's a solitary job, but life will interrupt your writing, best get over that hump right now. Find your rhythm and repeat it - everyday, again, no excuses. Now, this is very important so pay close attention: every word you write is not golden. That comes later. So get busy and write, get it all down, then worry about the perfect word, grammar, and polish. Oh, by the way, that perfection will only last until your editor gets their hands on your pride and joy, but that's something for another day.

There you go, the work isn't always glamorous and wonderful, shocking I know, but it explains why many authors are excited to attend events and let their hair down.

Please realize that there is much more to know about being writer. Loads of details, seriously important details, but someone who wants to write needs to go out there and learn all about the business - from top to bottom, and the stuff hidden in the back of the closet as well. I will, however, offer you two platitudes that actually fit and should be kept in mind:

• Don't take the easy route, take the right road, even if it will take longer.

• Don't be desperate to hold the book in your hand, be desperate to do it right, and then hold the book in your hand.

Good luck, because, in the end, it is a very rewarding job - which is why it's worth the time and effort to do it right.

Friday, November 20, 2009

A bit of random ridiculousness...

So, you're expecting to receive some chocolate over the holidays, and yet still have Halloween goodies hanging around. What can you do? Well, here's an idea for the chocolate bars - yes, even those with nuts, berries, or whatever:

1. Break the bar or bars up into chunks [about a 1/2 cup worth] and put in a mug.

2. Put mug in the microwave and turn it on for 15-20 seconds, use a wooden spoon to stir a bit and break it up a bit more. Repeat.

3. Once almost all melted add a teaspoon of butter - yes, butter! - and do the final melt, and then stir.

4. Add milk to the chocolate/butter mixture and slowly, like before, heat it up. Stir occassionally with your wooden spoon and dip you finger in occassionally to decide when it's a toasty temp to drink.

5. Decorate your hot chocolate feast with either whipped cream or marshmallow [I usually do the minis because they melt and meld into the beverage where the big ones can create a shelf]. After that, you can sprinkle the small pieces that didn't make it into the mug over the top, or anything else you fancy - like broken candy canes.

Yummy, and now you're ready to receive some more chocolate.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Fabulous Female Authors I've Read in 2009!

Everyday, a couple of times, I read various blogs through bloglines [what would I do without this service?] and one from Susan, of West of Mars fame, popped to remind me of something I meant to do.

Let me give you a little back information. A few weeks, maybe a month ago, Publisher's Weekly produced a best of 2009 book list. No, I don't shop from these, but I'll read them, and see if there's anything that might interest my mom or maybe someone else I like to buy books for. Well, I didn't see the list, I read about the top ten all being written by men. Normally this wouldn't catch my attention either, but I am sure there has been some great books by women - off the top of my head, what about The Help by Kathryn Sockett. Anyway, another blog I read by Moonrat touched on this subject and put out a challenge for people to list the [published in] 2009 books they'd read that were written by women.

Here you go, not many, but I enjoyed each and every one of them:

Love's Immortal Pantheon Anthology by Dagmar Avery, Cat Johnson, Tilly Greene, Kayleigh Jamison, Eliza Gayle, Selena Illyria and Diana DeRicci - seven women, including me, so of course I read the other stories!
Nauti Intensions by Lora Leigh
Lethal Legacy by Linda Fairstein
Finger Lickin' Fifteen by Janet Evanovich
London for the Holidays by Stella and Audra Price
Skin Trade by Laurell K Hamilton
Highland Heat by Tilly Greene - yeah, another one by me.

I figure the main question in your mind is "Why so few?" I have 3 more romances [historical and a couple of contemporaries] published this year that are sitting in my TBR pile, alongside 2 non-fictions that were by men, and therefore couldn't be counted. The rest of what I read were published in previous years, like Maria Tatar's The Annotated Brothers Grimm published in 2004.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Hump Day Reflections!

The holidays are almost here and many of us are thinking of our waistlines - well, maybe Canadian Tym Roders will get you thinking of moving before nibbling on the festive offerings.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

eBook Talk!

Actually, it's about how to read an ebook, and all that is happening in the eReader field. New devices are being released all the time and you might be able to find some deals this coming holiday season. My hint is to start your research now, so when you see a bargain on the one that suits you, you're ready!

You might want to start with:

Kindle and Kindle DX
iPod Touch
iRex Digital Reader
Que [not coming until early 2010]
Sony Digital Reader

Don't forget, you can also read an ebook on your mobile, netbook, laptop, and desktop computers. You can read all over the place, doctor's office to the train. But, you can also pick the format that suits you at any particular moment, no one is tied to any one way to read.

Isn't reading exciting?!?

Monday, November 16, 2009

Naughty Thought for Monday...

Who does this remind you of?

I was thinking Ziggy Stardust and then I relized exactly what I was really looking at - wow, not seeing Ziggy or David Bowie anymore.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

It's Veterans Day!

Thank you to all our Veterans - not just today, but everyday.

While there are many branches of the military, I happen to have a special place in my heart for the Marines. While I grew up near a major base, there's one in particular who unknowingly [and now knowingly] helped me shape Warrant Officer Dale Smythe in "OohRah!" and another who is in Afghanistan - thank you.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Superior Fire Department Toy Drive

::: Permission to Forward to anyone you can think of ;-):::

I am here in hopes of helping Todd get toy donations for the Superior Fire Department again this year. :-)

We live in a small old mining town, population three thousand. My husband who helps me with all things RJ runs the local fire department in town. It's a low income town and there are a lot of kids here that don't get much for Christmas. Weeks before Christmas the fire department decorates one of the fire trucks with thousands of holiday lights, fire personnel and yours truly spend weeks wrapping every toy brought in with festive Christmas paper. On Christmas Eve Santa and Ms. Claus ride in back of the fire truck and, with Christmas music blaring, the fire truck weaves its way up and down every street in town. The sirens blare every few minutes and as kids hear it they scramble out of their houses. The truck stops and Santa gives each child a toy. The drive itself takes seven hours. It's a big production and one that the fire department takes great pride in.

A few years ago I got involved in the toy drive. With the help of the Romance Community the Fire Dept has been able to give a toy to every child in town for 3 years straight. The toys are not expensive small stuffed animals and 1-4 dollar toys, but it doesn't take a lot to make it a magical night for the kids in town, especially when Santa is delivering the toys personally.

I know it's been a bad year for everyone, but I am really hoping we can raise enough toys again this year. Last year we barely brought in enough, but we did it! ;-)

If anyone is interested in sending in some toys it would be VERY MUCH appreciated by both the fire department and the kids in town ;-)

I really want to thank everyone who has contributed over the years. I go on the drive every year with Todd and I can't describe adequately how incredible the whole experience is. It chokes me up every year watching kids with huge grins on their faces, clutching tight to the toy Santa has given them.

You can check out photos of the Santa Drive here.

If you would like to donate toys or gift cards you can do so by sending them into:
Superior Fire Dept Toy Drive
C/O Superior Fire Department
236 Golf Course Rd
Superior, AZ 85173

The Department is not set up to take Paypal. So anyone who would like to contribute via Paypal can send their donations into Romance Junkies and I will forward the donations onto the Fire Dept. RJ pal info is - info is

Cat Brown AKA Chaoscat
(Chaos - It's not just a lifestyle, it's a state of mind)
Owner/Operator Romance Junkies

Monday, November 09, 2009

The good news is flowing!

Okay, so on Friday I received the news that three of my Torrid Teasers [New Zealand, Russia and China from the An Invitation to the World series] at Whiskey Creek Press Torrid would be released in a The Best of Torrid Teasers Vol. 2 [January 2010] along with three teasers from Susan M. Sailors and three from Cheri Valmont!

Great news!

And then, on Saturday morning, I was going through my emails and opened one from All Romance eBooks that informed me my contemporary erotic romance, And She Scores!, was accepted for their special project for February 2010. Every day of the month dedicated to all things red they will release a new ebook with the proceeds going to benefit the American Heart Association - really cool news!

So, it's only November, and 2010 is shaping up to be a fun year!

In January, The Best of Torrid Teases Vol. 2 and Double Punch will be released from Whiskey Creek Press Torrid and Tease Publishing respectively.

In February, And She Scores! will be released from All Romance eBooks.

And over at Whiskey Creek Press Torrid, Call Me Lucifer and My Angel release dates are still to be determined.

I'm not wishing the time away, but I can't wait for 2010!

Saturday, November 07, 2009

It's National Bookstore Day!

Think local!

Shop local!

Visit your local independent bookstore today and pick out a few books for your holiday gifts!

Visit IndieBound to help you find a book shop close to you and what else is around there to plan an interesting day out in your area.

Here is a Publisher's Weekly article on what the day is all about.

Friday, November 06, 2009

All About AAD!

It's been almost two weeks since the Authors After Dark Paranormal Weekend and it's still bouncing around in my mind. In a few short words the entire weekend was one of the best ever, but the parties were a blast!

Friday started with the LIP Ladies, Love Immortal Pantheon authors cocktail welcome. I was in on this one [and forgot the camera] and we offered Ambrosia [grapefruit juice, pomegranate juice, and champagne], nibble treats, and goodies [bath salts, wax chips, and packet of promo]. It was a lovely for everyone to gather and mingle before we moved into the dining room for raffle and more substantial nibbles, and then the night turned into a PJ Mixer! Favorite sleep attire was worn and favorite stuffed buddy were carried - it was a great night for all!

It was the perfect way to kick off the weekend - everyone was keeping it real!

Saturday was all about interesting panels and the booksigning, but the big event was the Masquerade! People went all out, from the makeup and hair, to the clothes, the costumes were from across the board and all were wow-worthy making for a fun time even more incredible. One minute you're talking with a Jane Austen Zombie and the next a faun!

Those are just two of the events that stand out in my mind and is helped because I remebered my camera, but when I think back on the entire weekend, and I can say I'll be going to next years weekend. In fact, mark your calendars, it is rumored to be toward the end of September, and the LIP Ladies are already talking about what we should do to kick it all off!

Now, have you done the AAD Scavenger Hunt? NO!?! Then get busy - go here to get started, there's some serious swag on offer to the winner! Oh, you've done everyone else and were waiting for me? Cool, don't forget to send your full and complete list to

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Remember, Remember, the Fifth of November!

The parkin is made, cellar temp ale at the ready, and the twigs are stacked in the backyard fireplace with a strawman [the Guy] resting on top and ready for lighting - what does all this mean?

It's Guy Fawkes Day and the cutie is wearing his Englishness proudly!

Remember, remember the fifth of November,
Gunpowder Treason and Plot,
I see no reason why gunpowder treason
should ever be forgot.

Guy Fawkes, Guy Fawkes,'twas his intent
to blow up the King and the Parliament.
Three score barrels of powder below,
Poor old England to overthrow:
By God's providence he was catch'd
With a dark lantern and burning match.
Holloa boys, holloa boys, make the bells ring.
Holloa boys, holloa boys, God save the King!
Hip hip hoorah!

A penny loaf to feed the Pope.
A farthing o' cheese to choke him.
A pint of beer to rinse it down.
A faggot of sticks to burn him.
Burn him in a tub of tar.
Burn him like a blazing star.
Burn his body from his head.
Then we'll say ol' Pope is dead.
Hip hip hoorah!
Hip hip hoorah!

Have a fabulous Bonfire Night!

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

What a birthday pressie!

This month All Romance/OmniLit turn 3 years old and they are sharing the love! Here is what they are offering to their users:

Every day in November we will choose a winner at random from that day's purchasers and buy them the books they have on their wish list. *

To get a head start simply fill your account wish list with books you'd like to read (be sure to log in first) and then every day that you make a purchase during the month of November, you'll be eligible to win.

So what are you waiting for? Log in to your All Romance/OmniLit account and start making out your wish list. We want to make your wishes come true!

To get you started, search for Tilly Greene on All Romance/OmniLit.

*up to $100.00 per customer

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Where is my mind at right now?

With Castor and Pollux.

Not to long ago I spent time on the Antinoos site checking out the various sculptures of these two brothers, and this was the one that I now keep posted to my laptop for inspiration. It can be found in The State Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg, Russia.