Saturday, January 31, 2009

Congratulations to Jane L

You've been chosen as Emily's winner from her visit yesterday. Please go to her website to contact her and claim your prize.

I'm excited to be blogging with the amazing ladies over at Romance Roundtable on Monday. I'll be talking about my inspiration for Dark Immortal.

On Wednesday I have a funny new interview up at Marianne Arkin's blog.

And don't forgt to click on by here Friday for my favourite author of wonderful contemporary romances set in the world of business...Kimber Chin

Friday, January 30, 2009

Guest Author: Emily Bryan

J.K., thanks so much for having me here to share my newest release, VEXING THE VISCOUNT (Feb 24th-Leisure Books). Since you are so generous with other authors, I thought I’d pay it forward a bit with a little writerly advice.

There are as many ways to write a novel as there are people who try it. This isn’t just my opinion. English playwright S. Somerset Maugham says, “There are three rules for writing a novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are.” So you see, no one can tell you the definitive process because everyone’s brain works differently. What helps me be creative may be a serious irritant to you.

However, I have noticed most writers fall into a few loose categories—pantsers, plotters, layerers, or puzzlers.

Pantsers write “by the seat of their pants.” They wake up and wonder where their story is heading, discovering motivations and plotpoints by following their characters around. I started like this because I didn’t know any better and I did manage to write MAIDENSONG (my debut written as Diana Groe, Leisure Books, May 2006) in this way. The down side is that pantsers can get sidetracked, write themselves into corners and wander around in search of an ending far too long.

Then when life intervened and I had to get a 40 hour-a-week day job, I knew I needed a more orderly system. So I became a ... Plotter, of sorts. Serious plotters interview their characters, develop spreadsheets and storyboards, and research like demons. One of the pitfalls of serious plotting is that plotters sometimes get so bogged down with backstory and plot points, it’s hard to actually break away from the planning to write the story.

I’m not a totally committed plotter. I do my research, write brief character sketches outlining my h/h’s goals and a detailed working synopsis. I treat these tools as a map, from which I may deviate if I spot a more interesting side road to wander down. But with a limited amount of pre-planning, I was able to maintain a schedule that allowed me to produce a 400 page manuscript every 6 months even with the day job.

Then life intervened again. Now I’m a full-time writer and able to do a little experimenting with other methods. Like . . .

Layering, sometimes called the “Snow-flake” method. The point of this is to start with a 60 second premise and it needs to be a powder keg of an idea. Here is the premise for a paranormal I’m playing with:

A time-traveling archaeologist must bond with a Light Elf to re-hide the Doomsday dragon chrysalis she’s unearthed.

Once you have the premise, move on to a cover-style blurb, character sketches, working synopsis, detailed synopsis, rough draft, 2nd draft, etc. With each pass, the point is to add layers to your story.

I haven’t been able to make this process work for me because once I have the working synopsis, my linear plotter gene kicks in and I start writing in earnest.

Puzzlers seem almost magical to me. These writers claim the story comes to them in chunks, like magma rising from a super-heated core, out of order and disconnected. Then once they have all the scenes necessary to tell the story, all the puzzler needs to do is put them in order and write the transitions from one scene to the next. Diana Gabaldon writes this way, so no one can argue with the results.

But how on earth do puzzlers develop a character arc? Somehow, the puzzler’s subconscious adds character growth as needed even when the scenes aren’t in chronological order. See why I say a puzzler is magic?

The point to this post is that if you are a writer, only you know the way to tell your story. It may be helpful to try other methods, but in the end, you’ll do what works for you. And don’t let anyone tell you different.

Now I’ve used up all my space without telling you much about VEXING THE VISCOUNT. Here’s my 60 second premise:

Daisy Drake will do anything to help Lucian find the Roman treasure he seeks. Whether he wants her help or not!

If you’d like to read an excerpt, please visit

Thanks again, J.K, for hosting my 50day/50blog tour today! I’d like to give a free copy of VEXING THE VISCOUNT (buy link) to someone who posts a comment or question here. And please check back tomorrow to see if YOU are my daily winner.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


I must be reading too much, because this is the second recommendation blog I've done this month already. But what can I say? I've got a lot on the TBR pile and a writer's block to work through. (We'll talk about the new short story I started in a few days)

Tempt the Devil, Anna Campbell

For Olivia Raines, London's most notorious courtesan, and the infamous Julian Southwood, Earl of Erith falling in love will be the greatest risk of all in this wicked and wild romance from Anna Campbell.

Any man in London would worship her. Yet Olivia is, quite frankly, bored of them all. Despite her many dalliances, she's never felt true passion, never longed for any lover's touch . . . until Julian, London's most notoriously wanton rake, decides to make her his mistress.

From the moment he first sees her, Julian knows he must possess her. And when he discovers her greatest secret, a scandal that could ruin her reputation and end her career, he knows just the way to use this damaging information to his most delightful advantage. He offers Olivia a deal with the devil: he'll keep her secret . . . if she allows him the chance to show her true ecstasy.

But Olivia must be careful, for Julian has a secret of his own: he will not rest until she is completely, shamelessly his.

I found this book to be superbly crafted and beautifully told. I like the fact that Erith can be an uber-alpha and still humble himself for Olivia, understand her pain and seek to ease it in any way possible. I also like that Olivia is no child just out of the schoolroom, and that she's far from a blushing virgin, but still retains a sense of mystery. This is truly a love story and I'll be reading it again soon.

Burn, Anne Rainey

A woman scorned…can be damned delicious!

Ally Ryanaldo and Blake Steele were high school sweethearts, in love and inseparable. Ally always assumed she’d be his wife, raise his babies and live happily ever after. Those dreams were shattered the day Blake left her and his small town life for the bright lights of New York City.

Now, ten years later, Blake is back—and wants to pick up where they left off. Ally has other ideas. Naughty ideas. With the help of her kinky girlfriend, Heather, Ally shows Blake her wild side.

When her little plan backfires, though, Ally’s very much afraid she may lose the only man she’s ever loved—for good.

Anne's new short from Samhain was a great read. Hot, nostalgic and daring. I love an ebook like this that I can pick up and devour in one sitting.

Kiss of a Demon King, Kresley Cole

His obsession: the enchantress who surrenders her body, but not her heart.
After Sabine, the Queen of Illusions, lures and traps Rydstrom Woede in her lair, the ruthless warrior fights to resist her seduction.But his fierce demon nature lusts for her delicate body and won’t be denied. Even as Rydstrom plots to escape, he still intends to claim Sabine as his own—on his terms.

Her downfall: the battle-scarred demon who vows to keep her at all costs.
When Rydstrom breaks free, her abducts Sabine, turning the tables. Now she’s the one struggling to resist his delicious torment. With each relentless encounter, Sabine hungers more for her merciless adversary.

They were never supposed to want each other this much…
If they can defeat the sinister enemy that stands between them, will Sabine make the ultimate sacrifice to save her demon? Or will the proud king lay down his crown and arms to keep his sorceress?

Everyone knows I'm a complete fangirl for Kresley Cole. Ms. Cole's writing is vibrant and witty and her characters are intense and alive. I was so excited for this book, and I'm very pleased to say it didn't disappoint. In fact, it took me over the edge, dragging me ever deeper into the fascinating, magical world of the Lore.

And one that's still on my pile to read, but I have it on good authority that it is well worth the wait:

Land of Falling Stars, Keta Diablo

Penniless, her parents and brother dead, Sophia Whitfield struggles to save her beloved childhood home during the Civil War. Another bluecoat is staggering down the hill, but before Sophia allows him to rob and pilfer like the others, she shoots him. How was she to know it was Gavin, the dark knight of her youth, carrying secrets too horrific to imagine and a passion that ignites her deepest desires?

As Sophia gradually discovers Gavin's secret and falls under his seductive charms, she struggles to know her own heart. Can she survive in the Land of Falling Stars, or will she lose it all to the horrors of the War and Reconstruction? And will the Southern lady and the Yankee soldier be able to recapture the bliss of their youth - this time in each other's arms?

Keta has gotten wonderful reviews for this book, and I'm looking forward to diving into her world.

Monday, January 26, 2009


Thanks so much for having me on your blog. My book Asmodeus released from Samhain Publishing on January 13, 2009. Asmodeus is my second book published with Samhain.

Most readers ask me where I get my ideas for my books. I’ve always been interested in religion, especially the lost books of the bible. It was in the Book of Enoch that I found the basis for my fallen angels. In the book of Enoch we are introduced to a group of demons who fell from grace and had sex with human women. Their coupling produced a race of giants, and from there we have the Flood - which purified the world from the evil that had taken over. My demons - most of them - seek redemption. If they choose to put someone's life above their own - a completely unselfish gesture - then they pass the test (usually given by an angel) and are included in the book of life once again. Some are given access to Heaven and others are not. It depends on the demon and their past transgressions. To me there is no greater emotion than love. Even the nastiest villain loves someone (or something).

In Azazel we meet a demon who is from the First Angelic Revolt, and in Asmodeus we’re introduced to a demon from the Second Angelic Revolt. Their past transgressions made them who they are, but it’s the love of a woman that changes both demons forever.


Being an aspiring witch is daunting business…

When Brianna Claxton accidentally summons a demon, she is forced to face her mistake head-on. That becomes problematic when her mistake comes in the form of a hot, ancient demon named Asmodeus who refuses to go back to the hell from which she summoned him.

Thoughts of revenge have kept him sane…

Asmodeus is leader of the Rebel Watchers, angels who fell from grace out of lust for human women. He had been subjected to the Abyss, tortured in a virtual Hell in Heaven, until the careless mistake of a human witch released him from the fires. Now faced with temptations of the flesh by the sexy witch who summoned him, he tries convincing himself that embarking on a relationship with Brianna would be a mistake of biblical proportions.

Two lives hang in the balance…

Just when things start heating up, four Death Angels give her a mission: Use her powers to kill him…or face the Abyss herself. Gaining his trust is the key—except the closer she gets, the more he reveals the man he is, not the demon she thought him to be.

Link for excerpt

Purchase link


Being dominated was her secret desire…

Alexia has no complaints about her job as an assassin in the Alliance, battling rogue vampires and demons. However, on a personal level, she has hit a sexual hiatus. Men from every race, every continent and every skill level have tried to bring her down—and turn her on. All have failed. Until a man with a body made of sin stirs her blood for the first time in over two hundred years.

Azazel, a demon of the First Angelic Revolt, is one of Lucifer’s most prominent—and dominant—assassins. His current mission leads him to Alexia, a fighter like himself who lives in the moment with no promise of tomorrow. A sexy vampire assassin whose secret sexual desire is a perfect match for his…skills.

His decision to give her exactly what she wants leaves them both hungry for more. But to delve into desires that might be best left unexplored, they’ll have to overcome a pack of rogue demons—and possibly Satan himself.

Link for excerpt

Purchase link

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Top Ten

I came across a list which purports to rank the 100 greatest films. I've listed the top ten below. I have to admit, they're classics, awesome movies that have earned their places in history.

But what do you think? Did you notice that besides Gladiator, there isn't a movie here that was made this new millennium, despite all our advances in technology and computer imagery?

Even if you go further, to the top 20, you'll find movies like One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Jaws, Apocalypse Now, and Psycho--all made in the '60s and '70s.

Why do you think that is?

I think it's partly because when cameras shot grainy tape and makeup couldn't hide as much as it can now, we as a society expected much more from our films than a lot of fancy explosions and lightshows.

Even so, there have been some amazing films in the last eight years. What have been your favourites and why?

Top Ten Greatest Films?


With Star Wars, and especially The Empire Strikes Back, George Lucas managed to create possibly the most revered and successful film series ever.


Coppola's epic, operatic, bullet-ridden saga. Murder, betrayal, ambition, and Brando at his scene-stealing best.


This irresistible prison drama promotes the unquenchable human spirit with an intelligence born from the brilliant mind of Stephen King.

4. PULP FICTION (1994)

Tarantino pushed his storytelling powers to their limits to make this film every bit as big as the widescreen 70s hits that inspired him.

5. SOME LIKE IT HOT (1959)

Wilder and Diamond's script crackles with ideas and gags, and the performances are uniformly assured, with Curtis's triple characterization in particular a revelation.

6. GLADIATOR (2000)

Ridley Scott revives the Roman epic with computer generated imagery and a mighty performance from Russell Crowe.


For a film that deals with missed opportunities and one man's dark night of the soul, it's all the more impressive that Capra's movie has garnered a feel-good reputation.

8. BLADE RUNNER (1982)

Remains the most influential sci-fi masterpiece of modern cinema, notably for its immaculate visualisations of retro-futuristic urban decay...and a hot young Harrison Ford.


A heart-rending and redemptive Holocaust story, that showed Spielberg could handle controversial, sophisticated stories with real sensitivity.

10. GOODFELLAS (1990)

"As far back as I can remember, I've always wanted to be a gangster," Henry Hill opens his true story of 30 years in the mob in Scorsese's epic.

And now I'm going to list my favourite contemporary films (ie. after 2000) here at the end so as not to influence the Top 10 list above:

1. Matrix, the Series (1999, 2003)
2. 300 (2006)
3. A Beautiful Mind (2001)
4. Lord of the Rings (2001, 2002, 2003)
5. Finding Nemo (2003)

Friday, January 23, 2009

GUEST AUTHOR: Leah Braemel

First of all, I want to thank JK for inviting me to be a guest on her blog.

Lately a lot of people have been asking how I came up with the idea of Private Property. I thought I’d bring along a transcript of an interview I did in April of this year between myself and Jodi Tyler, the heroine – if you can call her that – of Private Property.

Leah: I’m sitting in the Hauberk Security offices in Dallas, Texas with Jodi Tyler … (Leah hesitates) or do you prefer to be called Jodi Rodriguez now?

Jodi: Tyler, please, while I’m at work. I use Rodriguez only when I’m off duty.

Leah (reading from her notes): Ms. Tyler, you’re a former Dallas police officer who was a security specialist with Celada Security. As a matter of interest, what is a celada, by the way?

Jodi laughs: It’s an old-fashioned helmet the conquistadors used to wear – my husband has one in his office if you’d like to see it. His grandfather claims it was originally worn by one of his ancestors.

Leah (consulting her notes again): I see that just after Celada was bought out by Hauberk Security, one of the biggest protection agencies on the east coast, you were made the vice president of Western Operations. That’s quite an impressive accomplishment, congratulations.

Jodi: Thank you, I’m quite proud of my work considering there are so few women in my profession.

Leah: You should be proud, it’s tough be the only woman in a company full of men. (Leah leans forward.) Now Jodi, I have a few questions about a specific security check you did last July. According to my sources, you were assigned to break into a Lake Arlington estate to prove the flaws in its security? Yet there no report filed. Why is that?

Jodi (clears her throat): Mr. Rodriguez and I gave an oral report to the owner rather than filing a written one, as Mr. Watson—the client—directed.

Leah: Yes, Mr. Rodriguez – the former owner of Celada Security who is currently a junior partner in Hauberk Protection. And now your husband of course. (Leah flips through papers and reads from her notes) Mark Rodriguez - a former Marine who started Celada with a loan from his uncle, worked it into one of the biggest security firms not only in the Dallas Metroplex but the eastern half of Texas before Hauberk took it over. (Leah looks up and smiles.) He’s a very good looking man, if I do say so myself. Reminds me a bit of Benjamin Bratt.

Jodi (smiling): Yes, I think so too.

Leah: Now, Ms. Tyler, there are rumors that that evening you were to break into the Lake Arlington home of Mr. Samuel Watson, the owner of Hauberk and the man who is now your boss, was not so much an assignment as much as an assignation. There are rumors that the three of you agreed to a sexual encounter, specifically a ménage. Was that standard operating procedure for Celada employees, Ms. Tyler?

Jodi (flips her hair from her face in what I believe may be a sign of uneasiness): For your information, Ms. Braemel, Mr. Watson was simply testing my skills that night. A prudent measure for a business man to take when he’s planning on acquiring a company.

Leah: Are you sure that’s the story you wish to go with, Jodi?

Jodi doesn’t speak but stares at me, refusing to look away.

I hand Jodi a piece of paper that had originally been torn up but I’d carefully taped back together.

Leah: This was found in the garbage by the cleaning service the morning after your … assignment. Would you mind reading off the heading please?

Jodi crumples the note and sticks it in her pocket: It says “My Sexual Fantasies.” What’s your game, Ms. Braemel?

Leah looks over her glasses at Jodi: My game is to get the whole story, Ms. Tyler. My readers want to know what went on that night.

Jodi: There is no story. I broke into the house, left a note in Mr. Watson’s safe to prove the security system was inadequate. End of story.

Leah: I think otherwise, Ms. Tyler. And I can prove it.

Jodi shakes her head and curses under her breath.

Leah: Ms. Tyler, are you aware that I don’t need your cooperation? Handwriting experts have confirmed it’s your writing on that note. Plus there was also a very graphic video left on the computer’s security monitoring system. So why don’t you tell me your side of it?

Look for the full story of what happened that night when Samhain Publishing releases Private Property on January 27th.

For this and other stories by Leah Braemel, check out or check out Leah’s website at

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

When A Drink is Sometimes More Than it Seems

Lick and a Promise
serve in Highball Glass
1 1/2 oz Absolut Mandrin vodka
3/4 oz Cointreau orange liqueur
2 oz cranberry juice
1 splash orange juice
1 dash Midori melon liqueur

Pour the Absolut vodka, Cointreau, cranberry juice and orange juice into a highball glass filled with ice cubes. Shake well. Drizzle Midori melon liqueur on top, and serve.

Oral Sex on the Beach
serve in Highball Glass
1 oz vodka
1 oz peach schnapps
1 oz Blue Curacao liqueur
3 1/2 oz pineapple juice

Pour the vodka, peach schnapps, blue curacao and pineapple juice into a cocktail shaker half-filled with ice cubes. Shake well, strain into a highball glass, and serve.

Panty Dropper
serve in Shot Glass
1/2 oz Stoli Razberi vodka
1/2 oz blueberry schnapps
1/2 oz cranberry juice

Pour Stoli raspberry vodka and blueberry schnapps into an ice-filled cocktail shaker. Shake, pour into a shot glass, and serve.

Fuck Me Sideways
serve in Collins Glass
1 oz Smirnoff lemon vodka
1 oz peach schnapps
1 oz triple sec
4 oz grapefruit juice
1 oz orange juice

Pour the lemon vodka, peach schnapps and triple sec into a collins glass filled with ice cubes. Add the juices, and stir vigorously. Top with extra grapefruit juice if desired, and serve.

A Short Trip To Hell
serve in Collins Glass
1 oz Jagermeister herbal liqueur
2 oz peach schnapps
2 oz strawberry schnapps
2 oz wildberry schnapps
8 oz Red Bull energy drink

Shake Red Bull, peach, strawberry, and wild berry schnapps in a cocktail shaker with ice. Strain into glass. Then put Jagermeister into shot glass. Drop in the shot and drink.

Too bad I'm a simple Gin and Tonic girl...
What are some crazy names for mixed drinks that you've heard of? What's your favourite?

Recipes courtesy of

Monday, January 19, 2009

Good Monday!

I'm starting a new job today (same office, different position), and I'm not sure whether to be excited or nervous. Everyone at work keeps asking if I'm nervous. I wasn't...not until they started asking me and now I keep wondering if there's some reason I should be nervous. But really, this job is going to be good for me. I'll be working in litigation again, and after my hiatus in the land of intellectual property law, I'm looking forward to getting down and dirty with the legal mudslinging (just kidding...kind of). Anyway, why am I telling you all this? Well, the new job is going to make me a lot busier during the week (I cried when I found out it meant giving up my Mondays off), and it means I need to be severely focused about my time on the computer.

Aren't I glad then, to have such fabulous authors join me every once in a while and regale you all with their stories, their books, and generally take some of the pressure off?

Speaking of which, without further adieu, please welcome my guest Elizabeth Jewell

GUEST AUTHOR: Elizabeth Jewell

My new release, Crimson Star, grew out of an idea I came up with for the Heat Stroke line of short stories at Changeling Press. That short story, Solar Flare, led me to want to know more about the background of the world I touched on. Who discovered the Crimson Star, and how?

This led to the invention of Trev and Ash, and their ship Lightning Girl, and the story of how the Crimson Star was found. I hope to continue their story in one or two more novellas, until I’ve found out what I want to know about this futuristic vampire world.

Buy Link for Crimson Star here

Elizabeth Jewell’s website:
Elizabeth Jewell’s blog:

Excerpt here

PS: Don't miss my next guest this Friday, January 23...Leah Braemel

Friday, January 16, 2009


Thanks J.K. for having me over on your blog today. I just had a new book release yesterday and it’s also the first in a brand new series for me. My long awaited Black Cougar series. So I thought I would give you a little background on how they came to be.

Black cougars are actually an odd myth. I say odd because Black panthers do exist and the word panther is frequently interchanged with cougar as is puma and mountain lion. So when you see pictures and stories of black panthers they are generally referring to Jaguars and leopards because Melanism in North American cougars has never been authenticated.

But the legend of the Black Cougar is a story or myth that has been prevalent in the Carolinas and there have been many reports of sightings in the area. When I read the Choctaw folklore telling of how they are thought to symbolize death when they are spotted a series was born.

My Black Cougars are Death Enforcers for the clan council where they are driven by fierce loyalty to their shape-shifting clan. They are the Guardians that maintain the secret of their existence.

For a sneak peek into the cougars there is a free read available for download here

My links:

Blurb for Lucas:

Kira MacDonald is in trouble. Plagued by false visions and erotic dreams of a man she’s never met, she fears losing both her psychic powers and her sanity. The cure? Finding and bonding with her mate. The stubborn red-haired warrior might not want one, but fate has other plans, plans that include her rescuing Lucas Gunn.

As the Guardian of his shape-shifting clan, Lucas Gunn lived a quiet, solitary life. Until he was kidnapped, examined, and tortured. Now imprisoned, his only tie to the outside world is the memory of his dreams and the passionate woman who appears in them. He thought she was nothing more than a vision. Then she came for him.

An uneasy alliance, a mating call that won’t be denied, rituals that must be honored, and unrelenting enemies who will stop at nothing to get what they want. It all comes together in the first of Eliza Gayle’s sensational Black Cougar Series. Passion and pride. Duty and danger. In the end, there’s really only one choice…for Lucas.

Buy link: here

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

I made my word count goal two days in a row!!
Count 'em. TWO!

Don't laugh, with the way things have been going for me lately, this is an event. I'm ecstatic. It shouldn't feel this good to write a measely 1,000 words a day, but I admit that it does. To celebrate, I'm giving myself another 1,000 word goal for today. But the sad thing is that even given my success so far this week, I'm worried that I won't make it.

I didn't use to have these kinds of problems when I first started writing. Words, sentences, paragraphs, pages...they all flowed from my fingers through the keyboard like rich, fine wine. I never worried about echoes, or using words like "that", "was", or the pesky ones ending in "-ly". I didn't care about syntax, grammar, and devices. I simply wrote the story that was in my head and worried about fixing it later.

Why can't I do that any longer? Why do I have to overthink every word? Does it mean that I'm becoming a better writer, or just more neurotic and obsessive compulsive?

Any thoughts?

Monday, January 12, 2009

GUEST AUTHOR: Chelle Cordero

A writer’s ego is a fragile thing and there are so many influences and factors that can bring it up or down in a real big hurry.

We love praise – but what writer doesn’t sit back and question the sincerity? Even though we know our friends and family are often well meaning, how do we really know that they LIKED our stories? Maybe they are just trying to feed that undernourished ego and avoid the inevitable “funk”.

Then there are Amazon rankings, blog comments, sales figures and (when we are lucky) royalties – all numbers that play havoc with our psyche. And just in case you think the No-Confidence status belongs just to the newbies, look at hugely successful authors like Danielle Steele. Ms Steele, the author of 74 bestselling novels, often worries that she will not be able to keep producing the quality of stories that her fans have come to expect. If an author of Danielle Steele’s acclaim can worry – then certainly my wilting self-esteem MUST be justified.

Obviously writers are masochists.

We pour hours over a manuscript that may or may not ever see the finished, saleable form. We subject ourselves to rejection and criticism constantly. And yet when we see our names printed on the spine of a book or in a magazine, we are thrilled; it doesn’t matter if we had enough money to pay our rent or buy food – we celebrate the accomplishment because to us, this is the absolute best.

I recently attended a seminar led by David Henry Sterry, author of Chicken and Master of Ceremonies. Mr. Sterry explained that every writer needs a “team” and in this team he/she needs financial and legal consultants, publicists, cheerleaders and someone who “hates everyone equally”. The consultants and publicists obviously are to help a writer maneuver the business roads of writing. The cheerleader and the “hater” are there to support and cater to the writer’s ego, or lack thereof.

As I recently said to a friend of mine – writing (to me) is like breathing, it’s kind of a necessity.

So my friends, I plan to keep on writing despite the potential wounds and desperate prayers. When asked where I see myself five years from now, my answer is simply, “at my keyboard”.

Chelle Cordero
Contact Chelle at
Purchase thru Amazon at Chelle Cordero, Author Chelle Cordero Website Chelle's Online Portfolio



An unforgettable romance about two people who meet by chance, love by choice and are torn apart by intrigue.

Their romance survives a foreign threat to national security, kidnapping, personal tragedy and a murder attempt.

The story of Brandon Price and Caitlyn Smythe and a love which survives dangers and grows stronger despite modern day threats and personal baggage.

Within the Law

Tom gave up on ever falling in love again the day that he buried his high school sweetheart and fiancé. He started a career in law enforcement just so that he could find her murderer and rapist.

Just when he is about to see justice done, he meets Alli Davis-the defense attorney for the murdering rapist who took his love from him.

Alli and Tom share a mutual and passionate attraction but Alli refuses to make any commitments. She is hiding a huge secret. Tom falls in love with her and pursues her despite a false arrest, kidnapping and attempt on his life.

Forgotten and Within the Law are two highly sensual, romantic and edge-of-your-seat tales. Although Forgotten and Within the Law are two separate stories, they are woven together by a common thread-cousins Caitlyn Smythe and Tom Hughes. Some favorite characters appear in both novels.


Friday, January 09, 2009

The Playlist

I don't often talk about music on the blog. Considering how important music is to me--to my inspiration, to my everyday life and to my peace mind, you might find it surprising, but the reason I don't is because not too many people share my taste in music. But since it's Friday and I just finished updating my new playlist so I could talk myself into getting back into my writing groove (see yesterday's post here) I'm sharing my music with you. Have a great weekend!

Oh, and check out my current favourite for music videos--Kanye West Heartless. I love how they animated this. It's awesome!

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Yes, I have a blog today!
I'm at the Vauxhall Vixens complaining about my writers' block--I figured I should warn you before you pop on over expecting lolcats with snappy captions or hot shirtless hunks (Damn why didn't I think of doing that earlier?)

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

GUEST AUTHOR: Renee Wildes

Joseph Campbell and The Hero’s Journey In 2009

I am an absolute Joseph Campbell groupie and proud of it! Some girls chase rock stars. I chase deceased mythology professors. But he just makes so much sense about why great storytelling resonates so with people. It’s called the Hero’s Journey.

The Call To Adventure/The Refusal of the Call
The Reluctant Hero is who we all identify with.

Acceptance/Supernatural Aid
Finally our hero says enough is enough. There’s always a guide, a helper, someone to aid our hero.

Trials and Tribulations/Belly of The Whale
Fear, doubt, failure, until the make or break. The hero is strengthened or transformed, like a sword by fire and hammer.

Hero realizes the greater truth of situation, becomes more aware and wiser.

Success in Outer Quest/Forever Changed Inwardly
Hero accomplishes what they set out to do and return to their former world, but are no longer who they once were.

The greatest stories are the ones with the highest stakes, the insurmountable odds, the characters changed forever. Only with the change does the story stay with us.

Duality is at heart a Cinderella story, a peasant healer becomes a half-dragon fire mage, falls for an elven prince against the wishes of both their families and has to rid her world of a demon. Insurmountable odds? Not if you believe!

Hedda’s Sword is a woman who deals with a horrific trauma by burying her heart from the world under an assassin’s icy façade. When she meets the perfect man, can she find the courage to free the inner woman and embrace living again? Can love really conquer all? If you only believe.

My motto is Believing Is Seeing. Have it on my website
I think Joseph Campbell is alive and well in 2009! Come see for yourself.
May you always BELIEVE…

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Book Recommendations

I've read a few books already this new year, so I thought I'd offer my recommendations:

Demon's Hunger, Eve Silver

The Compact of Sorcerers, a brotherhood sworn to protect the wall between the human and demon realms, is thrust into battle with an unseen evil that threatens to destroy them all...

Forensic anthropologist Vivien Cairn fears she's losing her mind. Her libido has kicked into overdrive, and she's blacking out, leaving hours of her life unaccounted for and no memory of where she's been or what she's done. But when a sexy stranger rescues her from a demon attack, Vivien realizes there's more than just her sanity at stake.

A seductive killer is luring victims, and Sorcerer Dain Hawkins finds himself walking a dangerous line between ancient duty and sizzling desire when the brotherhood--and Vivien herself--begins to suspect that her mysterious symptoms may connect her to the crimes. Can Dain save Vivien from the evil that threatens to claim her? Or will they both succumb to...

This was my only "traditional" read so far this year (and by that I mean non-ebook). A dark and sexy paranormal that grabs you right from the beginning. I've never been disappointed by Ms. Silver's books and this was no excepion to that rule.

Love Partner, Robie Madison

Seventy-seven Dakokatan Outposters are stranded on a hostile planet, and Warlord Judan Ringa is desperate to reach them before more die. He appeals to the Technikon Laboratories Consortium for aid, seeking the one scientist who can save his people. But his first meeting with Dr. Myrina deCarte stuns him.

She's human. Yet she's his genetically coded mate.

Orphaned at an early age, Myrina knows nothing about her past. All she has now are her job and her friends at TLC. That is until she meets a tall, green-skinned man who literally electrifies her from head to toe - and who insists they have a future together. Yet after years of yearning to be wanted, she's about to discover that it isn't enough. She believes in love, a word that isn't part of the Dakokatan lexicon.

Determined to overcome their cultural barriers, Judan sets out to teach Myrina the customs and rituals between Dakokatan mates, both inside the bedroom and out. And along the way, she teaches him what it means to be human.

This was my first Robie Madison book, and one of my first science fiction books in a long while. Ms. Madison's characters were true, with great depth. The storyline was fabulous, and the world she created was impressive and believable without being too convoluted. It was still a romance at the core, with the relationship taking front and centre. I'll look forward to reading other books from her.

Ask Adam, Jess Dee

Lexi Tanner’s got a major problem: AJ Riley, the man she’s about to approach for a hefty donation, turns out to be the stranger she shared a night of steamy sex with less than a week past. She’ll do anything to raise money for a children’s charity—anything except sell herself. Now how can she ask AJ for money without it seeming like he’s paying for sexual favors?

If there’s one thing the past has taught Adam “AJ” Riley, it’s that loving someone can only lead to pain. He knows he shouldn’t feel so attracted to Lexi, and he definitely shouldn’t trust a woman who’d sleep with a man one week and approach him for money the next. Yet somehow Lexi breaks through all his barriers. His instincts tell him to run but his heart wants to give Lexi—and love—a second chance. How can he let go of his tragic past and still protect his battered heart?

Jess Dee was a new-to-me author as well, and I picked this book at random, just because I was looking for a good contemporary to download. It's been a while since I've read a straight contemporary. I wasn't disappointed. This book was wonderful. Lexie was refreshing in her lack of inhibition (while not coming off as simply slutty), and I loved the character of AJ Riley, who surprised me with his depth of feeling. I also liked their penchant for elevators. :)

Coming soon: Anna Campbell's Tempt the Devil and Lara Adrian's Veil of Midnight

Also, join me tomorrow for my next guest author: Renee Wildes

Monday, January 05, 2009

GUEST AUTHOR: Christine D'Abo

I’ve always loved the idea of second chances. I think that’s why New Year’s celebrations have always held a special place for me. Not that I go nuts with the creation of resolution lists. And very rarely, do I ever actually tell anyone what I’m going to try to do differently, if I’ve actually made one. For me the resolution is too high level, too BIG for me to actually feel like I can properly commit to them. But I need a kick like that, something to get me going in the right direction. I need goals!

Fresh starts, the ability to change something about yourself, that is the magic of a new year, new month, heck, new day! Do we all get that opportunity? Sure we do! The question is, whether or not we take advantage of it.

As a writer, I have the opportunity to play around with the idea of giving my characters second (third, sometimes fourth) chances to make their lives better. It’s a way for me to accomplish those things in life I’d love to try, but haven’t quite managed to get there myself. Sure, I’d like to lose some weight, get a new wardrobe, maybe have a bit less stress in my life. But chances are I’m either unable (or unwilling), to do what I need to, to make things happen.

I wish I had a Fairy Godmother, or Aladdin’s magic lamp to get a few of those wishes checked off my list. Why go to the gym, when I can simply get that magic wand bashed over my head! I like that idea…really wish I had one.

Instead, I have to set goals for myself. My friends usually laugh at me a bit, because my New Year Goal Sheet looks a bit insane. I need to have it though, or else I wander around aimlessly. Last year, I think I managed to get most of the things check off—I even lost the 10 lbs I wanted! This year, I’ll do the same.

But it would be easier to have a Fairy Godmother…

Christine’s newest release, All Bottled Up, tells the story of a call center worker who stumbled across a genie in a bottle. She is given a second chance to make a first impression on her boss, hopefully to win his heart. What she doesn’t count on, is falling in love with her teacher—a three thousand year old genie.

You can check out All Bottle Up, at Samhain Publishing.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

I don't really have anything exciting today. It's a new year, and I want to work more productively, and spend more time with family. So far, that means a relaxing day at home playing Wii with kiddo. I've also been making quite a bit of headway with my new book, and I'm very rezzed about it. I love love love Gideon. He's my favourite hero to date, probably because he doesn't take himself too seriously, and he's very genuine with such a good, true heart--all hidden behind the soul of a scientist.

Lyssa, on the other hand, is such a survivor. I love that although she's had to be strong and tough, and although she's been through hell--literally--she can still let her guard down enough to be soft and feminine when the time is right. She can still find reasons for laughter and she can still see that there is good in the world.

So, I'll see you again soon. I have another fabulous guest visiting on Jan. 5. Join me here for author Christine D'Abo, whose new release All Bottled Up, is coming soon from Samhain!

Oh, and hop over to for a special interview with Maxine, the heroine from my book Immortal Kiss.


Ok, I lied. I have something very exciting today!! Check out my awesome new video, courtesy of Julie at Scrapfairy Designs!

Thursday, January 01, 2009

AUTHOR INTERVIEW: Margay Leah Justice

Everyone please welcome debut author Margay Leah Justice to the blog today, whose novel Nora's Soul was released by Second Wind Publishing this past November!

J.K.: Hi Margay, welcome to the blog. Can you tell us a little bit about your book, Nora’s Soul?

MARGAY: At its core, Nora’s Soul is a story about one woman’s journey to rediscover her faith – in herself, in her beliefs, but along the way, she is challenged by two angels, one light and one dark. The light angel, Peter, wants to help her reconnect, but the dark angel, Dante, wants something entirely different. He wants her soul.

J.K.: This was your first book. How do you feel about it? Nervous?

MARGAY: This is my first book and it was released mid-November. I am nervous to some extent because I worked for many years on this book and it’s just one of the ones that wouldn’t let me go, so I’m nervous about how it will be received by the public. But I’m more excited that it’s time has finally come.

J.K.: How long have you been writing? What inspired you to pick the pen up one day and create the particular characters that appear in Nora’s Soul?

MARGAY: I have been writing since I could first pick up a pen. I don’t remember a time when I didn’t write. Nora’s Soul was actually inspired by a set of linked dreams I had one night during a troubled time in my marriage. I’d never had such vivid dreams before where the participants came out so fully developed and wanting to tell me a story. So I started writing it. In the beginning, it was pretty accurate as to what happened in the dreams, but I’ve since expanded on it and developed it beyond the dream. You see, I realized upon reflection, that the dream – which I conveyed on the page exactly as I saw it – was a metaphor for what was happening in my life at the time. If I continued down the one path with my husband in the current circumstances, I would lose my soul – or me. But if I chose another path, I would rediscover my soul, rediscover who I was. I chose another path.

J.K.: What do you feel is the most important thing that a first-time author should know as they start to submit their work?

MARGAY: If you truly believe in your work and yourself, you will keep putting it out there until you find someone else who believes in it, too. Don’t let one person’s rejection deter you. It just wasn’t for them. Go on to the next, and the next, until you find the one who wants to publish you. And if you’re lucky enough to get some advice from the agent/editor in your rejection letter, heed it. What better learning toll is there than advice from someone in the business?

J.K.: What do you hope for your writing career in the next few years? Any goals that you have yet to obtain that you have set for yourself?

MARGAY: I hope to get all of the books out of my head and into print – it’s getting pretty crowded in there! I really want to connect with a steady readership and keep delivering stories they want to read. And I’ve always wanted to write a screenplay. I think that would be fantastic, since I see my stories in my head like a filmstrip, anyway, as I write them.

J.K.: Sometimes people envision an author’s life as being really glamorous. I like to set them straight, so tell us what’s the most unglamorous thing you’ve done in the past week?

MARGAY: Cleaned out the kitty litter box. Oh, and today, I get to take out the trash.

J.K.: Do you have a pesky day job?

MARGAY: Currently, no. But caring for a child with special needs has become a full-time occupation.

J.K.: If you had to write yourself as a superhero, what kind of superhero would you be? What would you be named?

MARGAY: That one is tough. Probably, the Balancer, because I have to balance so many different aspects of my life – my daughter’s disabilities, my own disabilities, running errands with my mother, preparing my older daughter for college, everyday life and, oh yeah, writing.

J.K.: If you were a world ruler and you were given a choice of 3 laws to enact, what would they be?

MARGAY: Law #1: No fighting. Sit down at a table and work out your problems. Law #2: Everyone should be treated as an equal, despite gender, ethnicity, social standing or lifestyle preference. There should be no discrimination in any aspect of their lives, whether it’s in the work force, the political arena, or even in their private lives. We are all equal. Law #3: Show some respect. Whether it’s to your fellow man, woman, parent, elder, whatever, we need to show one another respect. Rudeness should be penalized. Life would be so much better if we were all just a little kinder to one another.

J.K.: Margay, thank you so much for being here, and before we go, let us know what’s next for you.

MARGAY: I am actually working on the next volume in what I like to call the Dante Chronicles (the dark angel in Nora’s Soul) and I have another series in the works about shapeshifters and empaths, and I am always working on several other ideas simultaneously. I have a couple of mainstream novels (no paranormal elements in them) in the works, as well.

Margay Leah Justice is a debut novelist who was born to write, as her claim to fame is a family connection to the Lowells – James Russell, Amy and Robert. When she’s not writing, she’s raising two beautiful teenage daughters, her hope for shaping the future of our country. She makes her home in Massachusetts with her two daughters and their two cats.


“I don’t want there to be any misconceptions or hurt feelings between us, Nora.”

The sound of his harsh voice snapped her attention back to him. “Misconceptions?” she repeated, confused. “About what?”

“About what you and my sister expect is going to happen here.”

“I don’t – “ Her protest died on her lips when he placed a fingertip over them, silencing her. She nearly choked on a shallow breath at the fireball of sensation that roared down to the pit of her stomach at that minute touch. Thankfully, he withdrew the finger before she could do anything really damaging to her pride – like suck it into her mouth – but the fiery sensation lingered in her stomach, quietly banking a fire of old sensations into full life.

“I don’t need a social secretary,” he said, seemingly unaware of her reaction to him. “If I did need a secretary, I’d find one through a headhunter, not my sister.”


“And I certainly wouldn’t take one whose background is in social services.”

“Well, then, it’s a good thing I’m not here to be your secretary.”

“Good. Now that we’ve got that established, let’s move on.”

“Please do.”

Kyle ignored that last comment as he launched into his speech. As he spoke, he made a leisurely circle about Nora, pausing to lean toward her in punctuation of each sentence.

“I’m not looking for a wife or a new mother for my children – “

“I’m not – “

“ – so if that’s the little scheme you’ve got going with my sister, you can just forget about it now.”

“I don’t have any ‘little scheme’ going with Joelle - or anyone else, for that matter!”

“Glad to hear it,” Kyle said, his tone belying his words. “Let’s move on, shall we?”

“Oh, please do.”

“I live alone. I like that.”

His breath skimmed her right ear as he leaned in close to her, front to front. She tried not to shudder at the pleasurable sensation it sent shimmering down her neck and into her stomach, where it joined the fire still banked there. She feared that she failed miserably. She almost didn’t hear his next words in the aftermath of the sensations he aroused in her.

“I throw my clothes on the floor when I undress.” He slipped around her right shoulder, but circled close to it – too close. “I leave the toilet seat up. I squeeze toothpaste from the middle. I sleep in the nude.” He leaned over her shoulder. His lips pressed to her ear, his breath searing a path down the left side of her neck now that, oddly enough, brought chills to her spine. “I like that.”

As the chills rippled through her, Nora swayed, slightly off-balance. Kyle righted her equilibrium with a quick, painless jab of his knees to the backs of hers. Then he pulled back, abruptly, completed his circle as he drilled home his point. “I don’t want anyone picking up my clothes. I don’t want anyone putting down the toilet seat or telling me where to squeeze my toothpaste.” He paused to quirk his lips in what could almost pass for a smile at the suggestive statement. “And I don’t want anyone buying me silk pajamas. I don’t want to be reformed.” He leaned his face so close to Nora’s then that his features filled her entire realm of vision. “Got that?”
Well, of all the arrogant, insufferable – !

Nora was trembling with rage by the conclusion of Kyle’s little speech. Just who the hell did he think he was, anyway, making demands like that?

“That’s what I missed about you all these years, Kyle,” she said with hard-won calm. “That charming personality.”

Kyle smiled then, but it was just a flexing of the muscles; there was no warmth to it. He leaned nearer to Nora, the tip of his nose in a position to touch hers should either of them make the slightest movement. It was an oddly intimate pose; a slight twist to the left, or a slight twist to the right, and their lips would be touching, even if no other parts of their bodies were. But the heat of his body – emanating from his skin in a wonderfully male scent that reminded her of warm summer days at the beach – did touch her; like a brand, searing another impression of him on her heart. The urge to melt into him wasn’t as hard as the urge to pull away; it took all of her strength to resist it. Oh, no, she wouldn’t give him that.

“Oh, I can be very charming.” He dropped the smile. “Or not.” Withdrawing, he stared down his nose at her, pointed a finger toward her collarbone. “Your choice. Just remember this – I don’t want to be seduced.”

“Oh, I don’t think there’s any chance of that,” Nora said, her voice so thick with sarcasm she nearly choked on it. She thought she detected a flicker of something – admiration, perhaps – in his eyes when she stated, “I’m here to take care of your children’s needs, not yours.” But whatever she thought she saw in his eyes was gone before she could name it. Must be my imagination, she decided.

“See that you remember that.”

“Oh, I will.”

They faced off for an eternal moment, two battle-scarred warriors at an emotional impasse. Each waiting for the other to flinch first. When that didn’t happen, they simultaneously relaxed their stances, as if by some silent agreement.
Kyle took a wary step backward. His eyes never left her face. “Good. Then there’s nothing left to discuss. Is there?”

“Just one thing,” she said when he would’ve turned away. She ignored the annoyed look he cast over his shoulder as he paused on his flight up the stairs. She started down the hall toward the sounds of merriment emanating from the kitchen, but paused when she came abreast of Kyle on the stairs. “I take my responsibilities very seriously.” She hesitated, for effect, then drove the statement home with, “All of them.” And then she was gone, leaving Kyle to stare after her in wonder.

Now available from Second Wind Publishing