Friday, October 31, 2008

Yay, I have the chance to do another Friday Funny!

Trouble is, it's halloween and halloween isn't really supposed to be funny, it's supposed to be scary, so what's a blogger to do?


Drop on by Dark Cravings blog, where I've posted a brand new excerpt of The Trouble With Destiny. I'm also offering a free e-copy for one lucky commenter today!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Since Halloween is soon to be here, I wanted to share another spooky post, but today I thought I'd give you one that's a little closer to home...

Before the loud crack of the shot had completely died out, Devon was standing by her side, not a foot away from her. He wrenched the gun from her hands.

Max fought. With everything she had, she fought him, but his strength...his strength was colossal...not human.

Oh my God, he’s not human.

He laughed again, obviously enjoying her struggles, her fear, and Max knew she was going to die. “You’re right.” His voice betrayed his excitement, the sick enjoyment he was getting from this. “On all counts, I’m afraid. I’m not human, you are going to die, and yes...I am reading your mind.”

His hand was tight around her throat now, squeezing, crushing her windpipe. She clawed at his wrist, his arm, trying to loosen his hold enough to pull oxygen into her burning lungs. Her vision was quickly going fuzzy and dark, black shadows like syrupy globs of ink floating in front of her eyes.

“Fuck you,” she rasped on her one last puff of air, fingers still clawing at the manacle of a wrist that held her to him.

His head bent to her neck, and she felt those teeth grazing the column of her throat, felt his tongue come out and lick the sweat from her skin in one long swipe. At that moment she knew exactly what was happening, exactly what she had unwittingly come up against—


His claws dug into the flesh and muscle of her upper arms as he pulled her closer to him. He smelled of dirt and blood and evil—exactly what you expected the essence of insanity to smell like. She gasped as the teeth tore through her skin with brutal efficiency. She could feel her blood trickling thickly down her neck to the valley of her breasts, sticky and hot. Inside her mind Max felt his satisfaction, his eagerness. He wanted to rip her apart like an animal, but she sensed he was weak and his need for her blood was great. He couldn’t afford to waste any of it with games.

The teeth that pierced her went deep, and she couldn’t help the moan passing across her lips at the sharp tug of his mouth on her skin as he started to draw her blood into his mouth. The sounds were like something out of a bad movie, sucking and slurping and great hungry swallows.

Oh God, this was really happening to her. She was going to die out here at the hands of this monster...and it’s all Baron’s fault.

Devon was surprised. Very surprised. What luck he was having this night.
He let the woman’s smooth, rich blood fill him, heal him. He could feel the burns on his face fading and knew the charred, ruined skin was turning pink and healthy again. His body warmed as her blood started pumping in his starved veins.

He had intended to drain the woman dry—he sorely needed her rejuvenating blood to restore him to full strength—but she had surprised him with her spirit and fire, just as she had surprised him with her thoughts.


Oh, it was too good to be true, but the proof was right there in her mind, in the fevered whisper of the damn Immortal’s name inside her head. The Immortal who had dared take his mate from him. The Immortal who had been close on his heels every night since then like a bloodhound after a scent.

Devon had been forced into hiding—an animal on the run. Hunted.

A week after losing Bettina, the bastards had found and raided his lair in the city, forcing him out onto the street just moments before dawn. He’d managed to avoid the sun, but only barely. And two nights ago, they’d found him again. Only by the skin of his pointed vampire teeth, by the strength of his hatred and desire to have vengeance upon their hides, had he managed to escape the fire they’d set to trap him. Thankfully, he found his way into the subway tunnels before the sun could do more than just blister his skin.

He still suffered from the painful burns, and it didn’t help that he was forced to seek shelter out here in the middle of nowhere to avoid the Immortals that continued to hunt him mercilessly. Here, where human traffic was non-existent at night, making human blood impossible to find. Injured and weak as he was, he needed a large amount of it to heal him completely and there was none to be found...until tonight. Until one lone woman’s car just happened to break down on the side of the road only meters from his newly appointed home sweet home.

Devon’s hatred for the Immortals thundered hotly in his veins. He hungered constantly for the revenge he had promised them. For what they had done to his beloved Bettina they both deserved to die—deserved more than death.

This surprising young woman would be his first strike against them.

Her sweet blood still flowed into his mouth, drawing a sharp moan of pleasure from his lips, and he drank until he knew she was but moments from her death.

Her heart had slowed, barely beating now, her breathing shallow. Her eyes were closed, long, soft lashes brushing the tops of her paper white cheeks, and her hand no longer clutched his wrist to pull him away, but fell limply to her side.

She really was a beautiful woman, and looking at her, Devon felt the loss of his Bettina sharply.

He pulled from her throat and scored his wrist with his teeth, pushing the bloody gash to her mouth.


Available online and in stores

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

INTERVIEW: Robie Madison

Today I bring you Robie Madison, a 2006 Dream Realm award winner for her futuristic romance Love Partner, which has recently been released in print from Ellora’s Cave.

Oh, and you’ll all be very happy to know that I didn’t even have to bribe Robie to come on board today, she volunteered. So brave. So brave. She doesn’t know me very well.

So anyway, Robie it’s nice to have you here. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?—And I mean the real you, not the writer you. We’ll get to that later.

Thanks, J.K.! It’s great to be here—wherever here actually is.

Hum, the real me. Well, I’m passionate about traveling. I’ve visited and/or lived on 5 of the 7 continents. And polar bears—I have over half a dozen pictures and two carvings of this majestic creature in my office. Oh, and I’ve seen a polar bear roaming around near Churchill, Manitoba!

Really? I see squirrels. They reproduce every minute and like to climb into my attic. Occasionally I also see this cute little five year old with grape jelly all over his face. And if we start talking about the things running around inside my head, well then that's a whole other blog...

Sorry, didn't mean to go off on a tangent there...So tell me more.

When I’m not out having an adventure, I’m at home writing about one…or thinking about writing. When I need to work through a scene (which I always do first in my head) I either: a) go to the club and work out with weights, or b) fold laundry, or c) bake—which necessitates another trip to the club to work out, and so it goes.

How did you come to be a writer?

I’m pretty sure I was born a writer—but until about twelve years ago I was too busy doing things and going places. Then I read a news article about a local murder in which one of the key witnesses had to be placed in the Witness Protection Program. That one line generated the whole concept for my first book, Keeping Faith (published by Cerridwen as R.E. Matheson), and the ideas haven’t stopped. In fact, if anything, I struggle to keep up with my story ideas.

How does your background or experiences lend itself as fodder for your writing? (This should be interesting, given your books *g*)

Well, my latest contemporary erotic romance, Gay Paris, which is currently in edits and which happens to be a sequel to Good Enough for You, takes place in—you guessed it, Paris. I’m also working on two stories at the moment set in Wales. I visited both these places last year during a two month long summer holiday. The cultural struggles faced by my hero and heroine in Love Partner grew out of my own experiences living in Asia for three years. So, you could say that I’m very geographically oriented when I write, which came in handy when I created my own post-natural-holocaust world for Desperate Alliance.

If you could travel to another planet, where would you go, what one person would you bring with you, and what one thing would you take?

Crud, you mean I can only pick one?? Assuming there was a half-decent mode of space travel, I’d choose the inter-planetary tour special. I’d go with my family, ’cause I can’t just pick one of them. And I’d take a good travel guide. Oh, and a J.K. Coi novel. Wow, that was a really good answer :)

Okay, now for the important stuff: What’s your favourite colour? Food? Television show? Place to visit?

Black—but I’ve been told it’s the absence of color and so doesn’t count. But I look so good in it with my white hair and all. (I started going prematurely white at the age of 16, so I’ve been looking good in black for a while.) LOL Otherwise I pick vibrant colors—some favs include pink, red, and blue.

As for food—anything hot and spicy, just like my books.

Television—my current favourite is the new sci-fi drama Fringe. I especially like the mad scientist Dr. Walter Bishop played by John Noble. Actually, the entire cast is very good and the premise is enough to make anyone paranoid.

Place to visit—anywhere I haven’t been yet, which leaves quite a lot of the world unexplored. LOL My main goal is to get to South America and the Antarctic sometime this century.

Reading the blurb for Good Enough For You, I notice that your hero, Brent, and heroine, Daisy, had met before, but that their relationship barely got off the ground before it ended and since then Brent has gone through a hellish experience (though I doubt it’s the same kind of hell my characters face everday, huh?). So what happened to him, and has that affected how he will approach Daisy and a relationship with her this time around?

Actually, Brent and Daisy had a whirlwind courtship after first seeing each other across a crowded ballroom. They became engaged and…bad things happened.

This is a story about the power of love. Mushy, I know, but true. So often in that first flush of love—and good old-fashioned lust—people don’t always think about what commitment really means. Good Enough for You moves between the present and the past. It juxtaposes that earlier care-free time with the wisdom of experience and tough choices.

Okay, was there anything else you wanted to tell my five readers? (What? You were thinking you’d actually get some exposure on this blog?)

Have I mentioned how much I love polar bears?

Yes you did, and now I'm starting to wonder just how healthy this obsession of yours is...

Oh, and dragons are my latest craze. I have 4 dragon figurines in my office…and a book in the back of my brain. Or that I’m a caffeine-free zone?

Dragons too? I love dragons! But you'll have to drag me kicking and screaming from my coffee maker.

Thanks so much for sharing, Robie! Why don't you let everyone know the pertinent details.

You can find out more about my books at

You’re welcome, J.K.—thanks for inviting me!

Monday, October 27, 2008

I'm on the Radio!

Tonight at Blog Talk Radio, I'll be interviewed by author Cat Johnson on the What's Hot in Romance show here. Please tune in at 10:00 p.m. EST to listen! (OMG, I'm so nervous!)

Listen to What's Hot In Romance on internet talk radio

Also, come over to Shiela Stewart's Dark Cravings blog all this week (starting today!) Together with fellow authors Shiela Stewart, Denyse Bridger, Mary Dressel, Carol North and Samantha Sommersby, we've planned a whole weeks' worth of scary fun which culminates in a fantastic party on Friday...Halloween!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Let's hear it for the miracle that is scheduled posting! Right now I'm in New Jersey at the Put Your Heart in a Book Conference--so if you're anywhere in the area, come on down to the book fair on Saturday from 4:00 to 5:30 at the Woodbridge Hotel and Conference Center, 515 Route One South, Iselin. Make sure to stop and say hi, I'd love to meet you!

While I'm gone...another FRIDAY FUNNY!!

Men have the Garage...

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Welcome Shelley Munro!

I can't remember how Shelley and I "met"-but it was mostly likely me jumping around from blog to blog until I happened upon hers one day a while ago. I was immediately hooked. Shelley writes amazing, sexy books with shifters you can't wait to get your claws into. She's also travelled A LOT, and often shares her amazing stories and pictures.

She's agreed to come and talk about the inspiration for her newest release Tea For Two, so without further ado, here she is:

When JK asked me to blog I thought of several subjects to discuss. I thought about the places I’ve traveled to recently in the United States. I thought about Egypt, since that’s the setting for my current work-in-progress. No, I thought, discarding all of these options. I should tie my post to something relating to my new release. It’s called Tea For Two and is a contemporary romance about secrets, fortune telling and tea. And then inspiration hit me because next to breakfast, afternoon tea is my favorite meal.

Afternoon Tea

According to the history books, the Duchess of Bedford started the tradition of afternoon tea. There was a long gap between meals and the Duchess became hungry around four in the afternoon. She asked her servants to bring her a small meal of bread and butter plus cakes and tea to her boudoir. When others discovered her habit, they adopted it and the meal became known as afternoon tea.

I love afternoon tea—the associated rituals and traditions. When my husband and I lived in London we were lucky enough to have afternoon tea at the Ritz Hotel. We booked several weeks in advance and dressed in our best clothes since they’re very particular about the dress code (men have to wear a jacket and tie and jeans won’t do!). A pianist plays while the waiter comes around to take the tea orders.

With the arrival of our pots of tea came a plate of club sandwiches, followed by scones with jam and clotted cream and finally we were offered a selection of pastries to choose from. Very yummy, let me tell you!

Afternoon tea is also a lovely way to get together with friends and family. Most of the preparation can be done in advance and it’s a great way to actually use the china tea set that sits in the far corner of the pantry.

To make the perfect cup of tea:

1. Fill the kettle with fresh water and bring almost to the boil. Pour 5 – 10 cm water into the teapot and bring the remaining water to the boil.

2. Swirl the water around the pot to warm it, then drain and add the tea leaves. Use 1 teaspoon per person plus one for the pot.

3. Pour the freshly boiled water into the pot. Stir once or twice with a spoon, then place the lid on and brew for 3 – 5 minutes.

4. Pour the tea into cups using a tea strainer to catch the leaves (unless you’re reading the tea leaves of course!) Add milk or a thin slice of lemon and sugar to taste if desired.

I like smoked salmon and cream cheese, cucumber, or egg and cress sandwiches. My husband likes ham and English mustard. We both like scones with strawberry jam and thick clotted cream. Yum!

I thought I’d finish with the recipe for Neenish Tarts. It’s a small sweet tart, which is perfect for afternoon tea. It’s very much a downunder recipe since it was developed in Australia.

125 g (4 oz) butter
125 g (4 oz) sugar
1 egg
225 g (8 oz) flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
Pinch of salt

Cream the butter and sugar. Add the egg to the creamed mix and beat well. Sift the dry ingredients and mix into the creamed mixture until it forms a pastry. Knead well. Roll out and line patty tins. Prick and back for about 10 – 15 minutes at 180 C (350 F) When cold fill with the following filling.

4 Tablespoons butter
4 Tablespoons icing sugar
4 Tablespoons sweetened condensed milk
2 dessertspoons lemon juice

Soften the butter and add the icing sugar, lemon juice and condensed milk. Mix until smooth and fill pastry cases. Once this mix is set cover with icing. It’s usual to cover half the tart with chocolate icing and half with a white icing.

My husband knows I enjoy afternoon tea so we’ve visited several Auckland hotels that keep up the tradition. We’ll often take his mother as a birthday or mother’s day treat. Definitely keep this in mind around mother’s day, and if you can’t find a hotel near you that does afternoon tea think about doing one yourself. It will make her day very special.

Do you like afternoon tea? Do you have special memories of afternoon tea with friends and family? What would be your favorite cake/sandwich to have for afternoon tea?

Monday, October 20, 2008

INTERVIEW: Author Kayla Perrin

I’m very excited to have another guest visit the blog for your enjoyment, and you’ll all be even MORE excited when I tell you that it’s the awesome Kayla Perrin who has agreed to be interrogated today!

Since 1998, Kayla has had over 32 original releases hit the shelves and has written for a variety of publishers. Her recent releases are with St. Martin's Press, Harlequin, HarperCollins, and Simon & Schuster, but she's also had releases with Kensington Books, BET, Ballantine, and Genesis Press. She writes mainstream fiction, romance, romantic suspense, suspense, chick lit, erotica, and children's fiction.

Whew. I’ve got to stop and take a breath.

Okay, to continue...

In January 2003, Kayla's novel, Say You Need Me, was voted one of The Romance Writers of America's Top Ten Favorite Books of the Year. In 2002, Kayla hit the Essence Bestseller List with her first mainstream novel, The Sisters of THETA PHI KAPPA. In October 2002, she won a Career Achievement Award from Romantic Times Magazine for multicultural romance. Also in October 2002, she won a Golden Leaf Award for her novel, In An Instant from the New Jersey Romance Writers chapter of The Romance Writers of America.

And you know what, I’m sure there’s tons more, but I haven’t got the space to list all the amazing achievements of this fabulous writer—although I will add that she’s a member of the Toronto Romance Writers and I’m glad of it because it means that I get to pick her brain whenever I want to...or at least when she isn’t in Miami, England, Italy, New York, or the Bahamas, ‘cause the girl sure does get around.

So Kayla, after all that, is there anything else we could possibly digest about you? Maybe you could tell us a little bit about how you got started in this business and what you think was the turning point to get you where you are today?

Hi, JK,
Thanks for having me today! I got started in the business officially in 1996. That’s when I made it my New Year’s resolution to get a publishing contract. I’d gone to teacher’s college and couldn’t get a job, as teachers all over the place were getting laid off. I had always been writing—since I could hold a pencil—so I thought to myself, why not go for your dream since your education isn’t landing you the job you want? I’d been writing for years, and started writing romances in my late teens. I researched the market when I decided that I would get published, and discovered that the romance genre was huge. I joined RWA, went to my first national conference, and took all the pitching opportunities available to me. That’s how I met an editor from Genesis Press, a small publisher eager for new authors. They asked me to submit as soon as possible, and I could possibly have a book out by the following spring. I hemmed and hawed for a couple of weeks, but my mother encouraged me to submit to them, so I did (in September) and in December, I got THE CALL with the offer of a 2-book contract!

Your latest erotic thriller, Obsession, about a woman who finds out that her husband has cheated on her and decides to exact a little revenge, takes a dangerous twist when her new lover gets a little too...obsessive. Obsession seems to have everything—betrayal, sex, danger, sex (I said that already didn’t I?) Where did the inspiration for this book come from?

Oh, boy! A loaded question, ha ha. Is it based on personal experience . . . well, I’ll never tell. First and foremost, I wanted to explore the idea of infidelity in a marriage that doesn’t necessarily end the marriage. And of course, my heroine ends up in a situation where what she thinks she wants puts her in peril. I love to dose many of my novels with suspense elements, so it was only natural that when I thought of the danger element here, an obsessive lover easily came to mind. It is easy for some people to confuse sex with love, and if the sex is out of this world fantastic, a person might not want to let that go. That’s the case with Sophie’s lover. She’s looking for a fling, ends up experiencing sexual heights she never thought possible, but in the process, she starts to lose herself. In the end, her affair may cost her her life.

What’s next for you? Can you give us a sneak peek?

Next up is the sequel to SINGLE MAMA DRAMA, which goes on sale in late December. The sequel is aptly named, SINGLE MAMA’S GOT MORE DRAMA. I left off the first book with a cliff-hanger—the first time I’d ever done that!—and believe me, I heard from tons of readers. I wish the wait hadn’t been so long for the sequel, but that was out of my control.

And this month, my very first novel was re-released by Genesis Press in a mass-market format. When I do booksignings, people often ask me where my first book is. Now, those who haven’t purchased it but want to can. Next year, I’ll have another intense erotic thriller out with Spice, and there are a couple of other books in the works.

Now for the most important questions:

1. What’s your sign, and do you think the traditional traits of that sign fit you? If so, in what way?

I’m a Gemini, and ABSOLUTELY the traditional traits of that sign fit me. I’m a big communicator. I’m full of ideas, and career-wise, could have gone in many directions (I went to teacher’s college, was accepted into law school, and I’ve worked as an actress and assistant film editor). Because I’m full of ideas and find it hard to stick to just one thing, I also write in various genres—this keeps my muse stimulated, fresh, and satisfied. Geminis are extremely creative, and I have been that my entire life. I didn’t just write, I used to paint/sketch, sew, sing (once upon a time) and act. My two greatest loves of all my creative endeavours were writing and acting.

2. Would you still be a writer if you won the lottery tonight and could do anything you wanted to do? Even if you still wanted to write, what other career do you think you might have been good at?

I’m glad you asked this question. I would absolutely still be a writer if I won the lottery tonight (and hopefully you’re sending luck my way!). I would be a writer if I wasn’t getting paid to do it. But if I won the lottery, I would definitely invest in my other passion—my desire to make a feature film. It’s been a dream of mine for years. I even just told my family over turkey dinner that if I won a huge amount in the lottery, I would be funding my own feature film. I wouldn’t have to star in it, but I would direct it, and maybe have a small role in the project.

3. What are your favourite movies and books? (you can’t say your own books...but you can say mine) Why?

Favourite books and movies...well, that’s another loaded question! As for books, I read voraciously in many genres. The book I pick up depends on my mood. I love suspense. Mary Higgins Clark is one of my favourite authors. I also love romantic suspense, romance, some paranormal, chick lit, mainstream fiction . . . and of course, your books! As for movies, The Shawshank Redemption is one of my all-time favourite movies, as is Thelma & Louise, and How to Lose A Guy in 10 Days. There are soooooo many others. You should see my book and DVD collection.

4. What has been your favourite place to visit? Did you write about it?

Do I have to pick just one?? (See, this is my Gemini inability to choose one thing out of so many options). If I have to pick one—well, heck, it’ll be two—I’ll say Paris, France. I absolutely LOVED Paris last year, and I’m working on a Spice Brief set in Paris. I can’t wait to go back there with the clothes on my back and an empty suitcase. It’s an incredibly beautiful place. Second place I’ll say—Miami. I don’t know why, but I have this affinity with South Florida. It’s like having the best of the modern world in a tropical setting, and I love the tropics (like Aruba, Mexico, Jamaica...see, I’m getting in more favourite places!).

5. Do you have any hobbies, things you do to relax?

Ha ha ha ha ha! Okay, is that a trick question? Any free time I get, I’m reading or watching one of the hundreds of DVDs I have at home that I have yet to watch. But, okay, to be fair, one thing I love to do is travel. Again, as a Gemini, I love to explore and learn new things. I want to see all of the world—over and over again. I’m thankful that my job allows me to travel a lot. Someone once asked me if I don’t miss being at home, and I rolled my eyes and said, “As if!” For me, getting to go away is excitement. This year, I went to Mexico, Jamaica, San Francisco, Virginia, a couple other places, and I’m already thinking of going away before the end of the year. Geminis are always on the move, which makes it hard for me to always get time to read or indulge in a movie. Which is why I now devour audio books. You won’t find me listening to music in my car (unless a friend is along for the ride). I have to catch up on my TBR pile. Other than that, I like to get together with friends, which I’ve done a lot more recently, and that’s really nice. I am a great dancer, and used to go to clubs a lot...but I certainly don’t have the time these days. My biggest responsibility is being a single mother, so after that and my career, everything else is on the backburner. Luckily for me, I thrive in chaos, so an unplanned schedule works very well for me.

Kayla, thanks so much for being a guest today. This is your chance to say anything else you wanted to my readers—whether it’s about upcoming books, events, or whatever turns your crank.

Thanks for having me, JK. You know that OBSESSION is out from Spice, AGAIN, MY LOVE is out from Genesis Press, SINGLE MAMA’S GOT MORE DRAMA is coming in a couple months. You can find more information about me and all of my releases on my website, Oh—one thing I forgot to say is that my new passion (hobby) is making home-made DVD movies for friends and family—my daughter’s birthday parties, family gatherings, outings, etc. And I’m really good! Even when I procrastinate, I find a way to do it creatively. I’ve even made a couple of my own book trailers for SINGLE MAMA DRAMA and OBSESSION, which you’ll find on

And that’s all! Thanks again for giving me this opportunity, J.K. It’s been great!

Everyone leave questions for Kayla, she'll be stopping by throughout the day! J.K. Coi

Book Trailer: Obsession (Spice, September 2008)

Saturday, October 18, 2008

When I was young, it wouldn't have been Halloween without Disney! The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck...all good scary fun for a five year-old and I'm excited about showing these same classics to my son as he awaits Halloween this year!

Also, if you're planning a Halloween party? Try these fabulous spooky treats! (Courtesy of the Food Network)

Pecan Caramel Spiders

1 1/2 cups toasted pecans
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, in pieces
1/4 teaspoon salt
5 ounces thin black licorice strands, cut into 2-inch pieces
6 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
4 ounces milk chocolate, chopped
Chocolate curls or jimmies, optional

Line 2 baking sheets with waxed paper and lightly spray with nonstick spray. Mound 30 small clusters of pecans, about 3 or 4 pecans each, spaced a couple inches apart on the pan.

Make caramel: Warm the cream over low heat and keep warm while you cook the sugar.

Put the sugar and corn syrup and in a deep, heavy-bottomed large saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally until the sugar dissolves. Stop stirring, raise heat to medium-high, and simmer until the sugar reaches the hard crack stage, or 305 degrees F on a candy thermometer, about 7 minutes.

Whisk the butter and salt into the sugar mixture. Gradually pour in the cream and vanilla taking care since the mixture will bubble up. Reduce the heat to medium and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the sugar reaches soft ball stage, 240 degrees F on the thermometer, about 5 minutes more. Immediately remove from the heat and cool for a minute.

Ladle a couple tablespoons of warm caramel over some of the nut clusters, to make the spider bodies. Then press 6 pieces of licorice into the warm caramel to make the legs. Repeat with the remaining caramel and licorice. (It's helpful to have an extra hand here, since the caramel can set quickly. If caramel hardens, warm over very low heat. ) Let spiders cool 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, put the chocolates in a medium heatproof bowl. Bring a saucepan filled with 1-inch or so of water to a very slow simmer; set the bowl over, but not touching, the water. Stir the chocolate occasionally until melted and smooth. (Alternatively, put the chocolate in a medium microwave-safe bowl. Melt at 50 percent power in the microwave until soft, about 1 minute. Stir, and continue heat until completely melted, 2 to 3 minutes more.)

Spoon about 1 tablespoon of melted chocolate on top of each spider. Sprinkle with jimmies or chocolate curls, if desired. Let cool until firm.

Screaming Spice Cookies

2 cups all-purpose flour, plus additional for rolling out dough
1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoon fine salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter, slightly softened
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup light brown sugar
1 large egg
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Hard candies, try yellow, red, black, (Jolly Ranchers preferred)
1/4 cup water
3 tablespoons egg white powder
3/4 teaspoon orange extract
1 1/2 to 2 cups confectioners' sugar
1 empty metal tuna fish can, (about 6 ounces) for cutting cookies (Remove the top and bottom of can and discard. Wash and dry well. Pinch the sides of the can together to make a skull-like shape. )
Lollipop sticks, available in craft or bakers' supply stores

For the cookies: Whisk the flour, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice, and salt together in a medium bowl.

Beat the butter in a large bowl with a handheld mixer until fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the sugars, and continue beating until light, about 3 minutes. Add egg and vanilla extract, beating until smooth. Gradually add the dry ingredients while mixing slowly to make a smooth dough. Divide dough in half and press each half into a disk. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour.

Transfer 1 disk of dough to a floured work surface and roll about 1/4-inch thick. Cut into cookies with a pinched tuna can (see below). Transfer cookies with an offset spatula to a nonstick or silicon lined baking sheet.

Cut out eyes and a mouth with a pastry tip, fat straw, or a knife. Press the lollipop sticks into the narrow end of each cookie, if using. Repeat with remaining dough. Press excess dough together, roll and cut into cookies. Refrigerate cookies for at least 30 minutes.

Evenly space the racks in the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Put the candies in a small plastic bag and hit with a rolling pin to break into little pieces.

Bake the cookies just until they are set, about 20 minutes. Remove baking sheets from the oven and carefully sprinkle the broken candies into the eyes and mouth of the cookies. Continue to cook until the candy liquefies, about 3 minutes more. Cool cookies on pan for 10 minutes before removing from the pan. Cool cookies on a rack.

For the icing: Whisk the water, egg white powder and orange extract in a medium bowl until foamy but smooth. Gradually whisk in the confectioners' sugar to make a smooth icing. Spread a layer of icing over the entire surface of the cookies with the back of a teaspoon. Let rest until the icing sets, about 30 minutes. Serve or store in a covered container for up to 3 days.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Promo Day!

Oh, and I almost forgot to tell you--Enter the week-long contest being held at The Long and Short Reviews here for a chance to win not only an e-copy of The Trouble With Destiny, but also a copy of My Immortal (book 1, Immortal Series)


Wow, if you want to read interviews, today is the day!

First, go to the Long and Short: Whipped Cream. I had a great time talking with them about the erotic romance genre. While you're there, you can check out their website for my recipe for White Chocolate and Kirsch Mousse--Mmm.

Then hop on by the Midnight Moon Cafe for interview number 2, where I'll also be offering a free e-copy of The Trouble With Destiny to one lucky commenter.

And finally, all this week I'm being interviewed by Amy Ruttan over at the Linden Bay Romance blog on MySpace. (You'll also be able to find the entire interview at Six Degrees of Sexy on release day: October 15)

But the party's just starting, so don't go too far. Tomorrow I'll be at Bitten by Books blogging about...Halloween! and one more person will have a chance to win a copy of The Trouble With Destiny! And I'll also be featured on the Whipped Cream Yahoo Group. Then on Friday I'm a featured author over at Dark Diva Reviews.

Ah, but before you start thinking it's all about me (too late, right?), I want to tell you about the amazing line-up of authors that I've got visiting the blog here the rest of the month:

On October 20, I'll be interviewing award-winning author Kayla Perrin. Kayla is a USA Today and Essence bestselling author with over 30 books in print. You don't want to miss her most recent release, Obsession !

On October 21, the fabulous Shelley Munro will be blogging with us about her new book Tea for Two which is out from Samhain Publishing on October 14!

October 29, I'll be interviewing award-winning author Robie Madison about her new release Good Enough for You, which is being released October 24 from Ellora's Cave.

October is going to be a SCREAM!!

Sunday, October 12, 2008


Whatever you may think about Michael Jackson, there's no doubt that Thriller was (and still is) the most awesome music video ever--my Halloween favourite for sure!

You Tube has disabled embedding of this video (for whatever reason), so I can't post it here, but the link is here and in honour of freaky rockin' zombies everywhere, you should definitely go and watch!

Friday, October 10, 2008

For today's spooky post, a poll:

Halloween, 1978


Halloween, 2007

For me, it was the original because it was the first horror film that I was allowed to watch and it brings back the memories. I remember sitting at home with my mom and dad and a friend who'd come for a sleepover. We had to ask her parents if it was okay for her to watch the movie too. By the middle of the movie, I couldn't hold the popcorn bowl in my lap anymore, because I'd already spilled it once. Neither my friend or I could turn out the light at bed time that night...or for a long time afterward if I remember correctly.
Which did you like best? What other scary movies bring you closer to the Halloween spirit?

Oh, and click here to play Halloween Tic-Tac-Toe...if you dare ha ha ha. (Remember, I warned you, LOL)

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Getting Ready for Halloween

Besides the costumes for the kids and a couple shopping bags full of candy, what do you do to get ready for Halloween?

We love Halloween at our house, and every year we start thinking of the new prank we'll play on the neighbourhood. We always plan the scene carefully, lots of spooky decorations and scary music and the kids love it.

But now I'm talking about a different kind of preparation. The mental kind. Putting yourself in the right frame of mind for blood and guts and murderous doings (all in good fun, remember). For the rest of the month, in between my promotional events for the release of The Trouble With Destiny, I'll be focusing on Halloween and posting snippets and clips and pics from all my favourite scary things.

Today: What do you read when you want that scary thrill? For me, it's always Stephen King (big surprise). Here are the opening lines from one of my favourite scary Stephen King tales:

Autopsy Room Four

It's so dark that for awhile—just how long I don’t know—I think I’m still unconscious. Then, slowly, it comes to me that unconscious people don’t have a sensation of movement through the dark, accompanied by a faint, rhythmic sound that can only be a squeaky wheel. And I can feel contact, from the top of my head to the balls of my heels. I can smell something that might be rubber or vinyl. This is not unconsciousness, and there is something too...too what? Too rational about these sensations for it to be a dream.

Then what is it?

Who am I?

And what’s happening to me?

The squeaky wheel quits its stupid rhythm and I stop moving. There is a crackle around me from the rubber-smelling stuff.

A voice: "Which one did they say?"

A pause.

Second voice: "Four, I think. Yeah, four."

We start to move again, but more slowly. I can hear the faint scuff of feet now, probably in soft-soled shoes, maybe sneakers. The owners of the voices are the owners of the shoes. They stop me again. There’s a thump followed by a faint whoosh. It is, I think, the sound of a door with a pneumatic hinge being opened.

What’s going on here? I yell, but the yell is only in my head. My lips don’t move. I can feel them—and my tongue, lying on the floor of my mouth like a stunned mole—but I can’t move them.

The thing I’m on starts rolling again. A moving bed? Yes. A gurney, in other words. I’ve had some experience with them, a long time ago in Lynden Johnson’s shitty little Asian adventure. It comes to me that I’m in a hospital, that something bad has happened to me, something like the explosion that almost neutered me twenty-three years before, and that I’m going to be operated on. There are a lot of answers in that idea, sensible ones, for the most art, but I don’t hurt anywhere. Except for the minor matter of being scared out of my wits, I feel fine. And if these are orderlies wheeling me into an operating room, why can’t I see? Why can’t I talk?

He sets it up perfectly, don't you think? You've already read the title. In the first scene you get a very clear picture that this guy is lying on a bed, confused about what's going on, and more importantly-unable to move or speak.

As this poor guy becomes aware of the fact that he's actually in the autopsy room, he starts to worry:

Surely they won’t really cut me up, will they? Pete is no veteran, but he has had training; surely he’ll see the marks of whatever bit me while I was looking for my ball in the rough, and then they’ll at least suspect. They’ll have to suspect.

Yet I keep seeing the scissors with their heartless satin shine—jumped-up poultry shears—and I keep wondering if I will still be alive when he takes my heart out of my chest cavity and holds it up, dripping, in front of my locked gaze for a moment before turning to plop it into the weighing pan. I could be, it seems to me; I really could be. Don’t they say the brain can remain conscious for up to three minutes after the heart stops?

"Ready, doctor," Pete says, and now he sounds almost formal. Somewhere, tape is rolling.

The autopsy procedure has begun.

Monday, October 06, 2008

I've got a lot to finish up this week, so instead of a deep and meaningful blog ('cause we all know I'm really good at those), I thought I'd leave you with one of my favourite Fall recipes, since I was doing some baking this weekend.

I hope you like cranberry muffins. (And stop by the Vauxhall Vixens tomorrow because we'll be sharing more recipes and I'll have another one for you)

Cranberry Muffins

1½ cups of flour
3 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
¼ cup sugar
¼ cup vegetable oil
1 egg (beaten)
1 cup orange juice
1 tblsp orange zest
1½ cups cranberries
Coarse sugar to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Grease and flour a muffin tin.

Sift flour, salt and baking powder together. Beat oil and sugar. Add egg and beat until smooth. Add orange juice and zest. Add flour mixture and stir only until mixed. Fold in cranberries. Spoon into muffin tins. Sprinkle some coarse sugar on top. Bake for 20-25 minutes.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Happy Birthday to All Romance eBooks!!

It's our birthday and we're celebrating by giving you a present!

All Romance eBooks will be celebrating our second birthday on November 1, 2008 and we couldn't think of a better way to mark the occasion than by passing on the gift of an eBook to as many readers, publishers, and authors as possible.

On November 1st all registered customers will receive a code good for one* free download! (*one click buys and bundles excluded) The customer picks the book, we purchase it, and authors and publishers earn their royalties. It's as simple as that.

And, not only is it simple now, it's simple every day to shop at All Romance eBooks. Simple category searches, simple checkout process, and a simple buy-ten-get-one-free reward program.

Help us spread the word to those that read eBooks and to anyone you think might like to try one. We have All the romance you need from all the publishers you love—and now we're giving it away!

Lori James and Barbara Perfetti
All Romance eBooks

J.K. Coi: You could even download MY book!

Thursday, October 02, 2008

With my newest book, The Trouble With Destiny, being released from Linden Bay on October 15, I'm going to be busy as I head out on another virtual promotional tour.

Starting tomorrow, Friday, October 3 please join me for the first of many different events. I'll be over at Love is an Exploding Cigar as I talk about writing humour...

I'm also hosting an interview for fellow Linden Bay author G.A. Hauser on the Linden Bay Romance blog to celebrate her release of Exposure, out this October 1, so drop by every day during the week of October 6-10 to find out more about this author's many great books!