"And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom." - Anaïs Nin

Friday, December 28, 2012

Mea Maxima Culpa

"Mexican Crow" by Jason Feiler

"When you realize you've made a mistake, make amends immediately.
It's easier to eat crow when it's still warm.
- Dan Heist

Last month I went on a little diva rant about what I find to be a/the disturbing recent trend of online Ebook romance/erotica publishing companies' releasing/selling very short novellas for novel prices. I stand by my belief that charging $7 for a 55 page Ebook is obscene gouging - especially since we romance/erotica ebook readers are very loyal. However, I must humbly eat crow for the following comment: "55 pages to develop a nuanced, page turning [read], that has you salivating for more? - not possible." (my emphasis). 

Recently, I found myself in a dire pc situation (EEK!). Thankfully, I was able to resolve it successfully. But my experience also encouraged me to delve back into my long neglected treasure trove - my Ebook library. I started wandering up and down my virtual aisles, sending several books (okay an even dozen, maybe two) to my iPad and - lo and behold! - I re-discovered a few 'shelves' worth of short stories. They are fully developed, nuanced, page turning, and have me salivating for more...still. 

But here's the thing, I purchased each of these amazing stories for $2.00-$3.00 - from Ebook publishers (i.e. Ellora's Cave and Total-E-Bound) that had specific novella sections; clearly marked with section titles like: Quickies and Lust-Bites. I decided to do a bit more research (yeah, it's a historian thing, we just can't help ourselves ;-} Most of the authors published in these sections also offered hott short stories and free reads on their individual sites (yes I will too, hopefully soon).

And while I was pleased at the vindication, of sorts, my mea maxima culpa has inspired me to start a new section at this blog. I have not come up with a title yet, but I know what the theme is - novellas. And my inaugural title? Queen's Surrender (38 pages).

Queen's Surrender by Nadia Aidan, Ellora's Cave, 2010


Queen Sumatra is used to bending men to her will. Her harem is overflowing, but she has grown bored and restless with them. She desires a challenge, a man she cannot so easily command, and she finds one in Adaire.

Ten years her junior, Adaire may be in the queen's employ, but he cannot be manipulated by her. He is not her servant and certainly not one of her whores. Adaire is adamant that in their bedchamber Sumatra will not be the one giving orders, for behind closed doors she will not be his queen, but his woman. And Adaire will accept nothing less than her complete surrender.


Who knew that eating warm crow would be so yummy?
Happy reading!

'Til we meet again,


Sunday, December 16, 2012

Newtown, Connecticut

"It's like in the great stories, Mr. Frodo. The ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger they were. And sometimes you didn't want to know the end. Because how could the end be happy?...But in the end, it's only a passing thing, this shadow. Even the darkness must pass. A new day will come. And when the sun shines. It will shine out the clearer.

Those were the stories that stayed with you. That meant something, even if you were too small to understand why. But I think, Mr. Frodo, I do understand. I know now. Folk in those stories had lots of chances of turning back, only they didn't. Because they were holding on to something...There's something grand in this world, Mr. Frodo. And it's worth fighting for."

Samwise "The Brave" Gamgee
The Lord of the Rings, The Two Towers
J.R.R. Tolkien (1954)

Friday, November 30, 2012

The Elegant Man

Jayson Hicks

"The boor covers himself,
the rich man or the fool adorns himself,
and the elegant man gets dressed."
- Honore de Balzac

The Wild Wild West

Photo from Miss Oakley's Wiki-biography

"Refuse to behave." - Jaid Black

Friday, November 23, 2012


"Open Book" by Beach Bum Chix
I am an ardent, voracious reader - always have been, always will be. I absolutely, unabashedly LOVE the printed word. And Ebooks? Oh lordy me my!!! When I discovered Ebooks, way back in the day, I knew that I had hit the mother lode. The ability to download literally thousands of books, of any and all genres, was and continues to be a personal wet dream come true. Ebooks gave birth to the latest era of my favorite genre - Erotica. Epublishing allows authors to bypass the stringent Harlequin rules and pompous 'big box' publishing companies and bring women's naughty kinky fantasies to the masses - hallelujah! Ebooks and Epublishing were the inspiration and vehicles that got me to this point - yeah, yay! But lately I've been noticing a disturbing trend...
Earlier today, I purchased an Ebook for $7 - a fair price. But when I downloaded and opened it I saw that it was only 55 pages long - what the fuck?! I realize that not all writers have 300+ worth of pages in them, but 55 pages for $7? Oh hell no. I find, more and more, Epublishing companies are pulling this crap - selling 75 pages for 150+ pages prices. 55 pages to develop a full, nuanced, page turning novel, that has you salivating for more? - not possible. I don't like it. I think that it's cheating the reader - I certainly feel cheated! The only way to deal with this is to: pay attention to the word count in the book's description before I buy and hope that if enough of us loyal readers refuse to buy such books, authors and the companies who publish them will get the message.
Okay, rant finished. I feel so much better ;-}
'Til we meet again,

Thursday, November 22, 2012

We Give Thanks

"Sleepy Hollow" by Carl Christensen

"Not what we say about our blessings, but how we use them,
is the true measure of our Thanksgiving."
- W.T. Purkiser
! Happy Thanksgiving !
 'Til we meet again,

It's Official...

"I never leave home without my 380s...
And how many times have my babies saved your cranky ass?
Don't worry, I won't tell your professor that you felt me up."
- Vessna, The Good Professor
Earlier today, I signed on the dotted line and took my publishing contract to the post office. I am now an officially contracted author! Now all I've got to do is finish my ms - GULP.
'Til we meet again,

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Like a Ninja!

"I always had this dream of being one of those ninjas
that hops tree to tree." - Milla Jovovich
A few weeks ago, I blogged about my precious flashdrive dying an untimely death - EEK! It housed my entire ms (manuscript), related research and notes, and none of it was backed up - EEK EEK! To the internets!...Thank Google, I found an online service whose sole reason for being is to save the asses of people like me (I take some consolation in that my ass is pretty fine, according to the hubby ;-} I did my research - read a gazillion independent customer reviews - and decided to take a $250 chance - best $250 I've ever spent, not including on shoes.
On Friday they @mailed me and told me that they had retrieved all of my files - YIPPEE! On Monday a new flashdrive (that I had purchased and sent to them, along with my original broken flashdrive), with my retrieved files on it,  was sitting in my mailbox - Hip Hop Hooray! So you know that I have to share all of their contact info - with my highest recommendation. So if you ever find yourself in a 'my flashdrive has died on me' situation, contact the guys and gals at Flash Drive Pros. Like a Ninja indeed!
Oh, and I am now the back-up-your-files QUEEN! Lesson learned...
'Til we meet again,

Friday, November 16, 2012


"The thing that we are trying to do at facebook,
is just to help people connect..." - Mark Zuckerberg
I just created my Facebook page. Come and find me ;-}
'Til we meet again,

Monday, November 12, 2012


Photo: AggaPhoto

"[Milestone] it reassures travellers that the proper path is being followed."
- Wikipedia

I'm still awaiting the verdict, on whether or not my precious flash drive can be retrieved (fingers and toes crossed). Still there's a silver lining. One week before 'the disaster' I @mailed my entire wip (7 chapters) to myself - yea me. So turns out that I have NOT lost all 70+ pages of my wip, only the 15 pages that I had written during that week. Then I realized that I had printed 10 pages of my new 'stuff.' So, in the end I only lost about 5 pages. But there's is one tiny rub, the 5 pages I did lose where pivitol to the latest chapter I'm working on (buzz kill!).

But even that loss has a silver lining. After shedding a few tears and a bit of teeth gnashing, I buckled down and got back to work - to great success. I've finally written the ending to my first wip - now I've just got to write the middle part (sheepish grin) - Milestone #1

Milestone #2: I've finally finished 'the torture' my synopsis - gotta have one of those before my wip gets the final green light from my publisher. By tomorrow afternoon I'll officially be a writer under contract - YIPEEEEEE!

'Til we meet again,



Friday, November 2, 2012

Lesson Learned

"I was seldom able to see an opportunity until it ceased to be one."
- Mark Twain

Last night, I settled at my laptop for a night of writing. When I inserted my flash drive into the USB port...nothing happened. It didn't take me long to discover that it somehow was broken. And my entire manuscript, notes and research are on it. As well as every ebook I've purchased over the past decade - ARGHHHHH!

I was in the dark deep pit of despair when I decided to Google my problem and see if I could find a solution - to the internets! I found this place in Seattle. You send them your broken flash drive, along with a new one, they retrieve the info/files, transfer them to the new flash drive and then send them both back to you. They promise a 3-7 day turn around (from date of reciept) and a 100% refund if they can't retrieve your data. The cost: $200 (not including the price of a new flash drive and postage = @ $50) a small price to pay to retrieve my precious files and ebooks.

I didn't back up my files. I meant to but then life kept...happening. And, to be brutally honest, my wip had been relegated to I'll-get-to-it-when-I-can-land for so long it was easy to put it off. And when I got my shit together and got serious about writing, I was so excited, got so into working on my wip - yeah you guessed it, I still didn't back up my work. Shame on me. And by the time I realized I needed to act on the opportunity, it ceased to be one. That will NOT happen again. I've already taken the steps so that, when I have my precious files back this will never happen again. 
Lesson Learned.

*I have purposely not named the disk retrieval service. Not until I can give them an honest thumbs up or down - I'll update this post when my thumbs are ready ;-}

Update: My thumbs are ready: I'm happy to report that the disk retrieval service: Flash Drive Pros  is amazing! Worth every dime. For the story and info see: Like a Ninja.

'Til we meet again,


Saturday, October 27, 2012

Night Owl Music

"Ladybird" Stephanie McDowell

"Just dissapear. I care for you much too much.
And when you're near, close to me dear, we touch too much.
The thrill when we meet is so bittersweet that darling it's getting me down.
So on your mark, get set, get out of town."
- Get Out of Town, Cole Porter (1938)

I've always been a night owl. For me the hours between midnight and dawn mean uninterrupted peace and quiet. No distractions, nowhere to go, nothing to do but write. Just me, my laptop and my very naughty thoughts ;-} There's something acutely...sensual about the latest hours of the night. I can allow my imagination free reign - nothing is taboo or forbidden. Yes, I do my most productive writing in the late night.

Some writers prefer to create in complete silence, but I'm of the ilk who likes to have music playing softly in the background. Long ago I created a special night owl playlist. Every genre of music is welcome, the only requirement is that each song has to be emotionally evocative and provocative and not too 'boom boom.'  In these last few months, as I've become serious about finishing my wip for publication, my playlist has become an essential element in my creative process. When my brain is stuck sometimes a few bars of music or a stanza of lyrics gives me the push I need. Anyway, I think that, from time to time, I'll share a song with you for your playlist. Okay, back to work. Enjoy...

"Get Out of Town"
Holly Cole, live at the Bluenote

'Til we meet again,


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Research Alpha

"He was Special Forces after all. He had been trained by the best to quickly assess an unexpected situation and adapt his ops plan to handle it.
He'd fuck her up against the bar."
- The Good Professor, Temple Bryon

You'd think that writing Erotic Romance(s) is all about hott sex. And you'd be right ;-} And while this challenge is a happy, gleeful, and joyous one, there's quite a bit more to it. In developing a wip, my first task is to create a world in which hott sex gloriously exists. Of course that world is built around my heroine and hero.

I'm a Pantster. For me that means I write the story as it pops into my naughty mind, and I research while I write. Although I'm a seat-of-the-pants writer, I did begin with a firm vision of who my hero and heroine are - more about my heroine later. In a word, my hero is an Alpha (yummy!) In The Good Professor, my hero - Ridge Copeland is a retired Marine (Special Forces). In his 'new' life, he's the founder and head of a securities company (i.e. uber hott bodyguards). And while my imagination is fertile when it comes to my ideal Alpha male (physical and emotional characteristics), I only had vague ideas about the military/military culture. And just to keep this interesting, I'm not only writing about one Alpha, but a team of Alphas and a few secondary Alpha characters as well (all some sort of military) - yeah, I don't do much easy. So I've been spending a great deal of my Panster time on 'Research Alpha: different types, lingo, guns, hand-to-hand combat, counter surveillance, defensive driving, etc. Let me tell you, it's a fascinating complex world and I can't wait to see where this particular leg of my journey will take me.

'Til we meet again,


Saturday, October 20, 2012

Exerpt #2 - The Good Professor

"She thought she'd have to tussle with the
boney handed creep in the stuffed shirt.
She'd much rather tussle with him."

Temple Bryon, The Good Professor

This exerpt is a continuation of the 1st...

Friday, October 19, 2012

Sophisticated Lady

"The Singer" Greg Harner

"Then, with disillusion deep in your eyes.
You learned that fools in love soon grow wise."
Sophisticated Lady, Sir Duke Ellington (1932)

It happened quite by accident. I was in the thick of writing the first sex scene between my heroine (Bronwyn Blackburn) and my hero (Ridge Copeland). At one point in the scene, Bron hears the muffled strains of music coming from the quartet in the outer room. There's only one music genre that could perfectly encapsulate this moment, this story - Jazz: languid, passionate, melancholy but hopeful, plaintive but joyful  At this point, I knew that I wanted to name the song. And I knew that the song had to reflect/encompass the innermost conflict of my heroine (one of the two primary movers of the plot) and hint to the hea (happily ever after) of the story - Sophisticated Lady.

And who sings Sophisticated Lady
better than Ella Fitzgerald?
No one...

'Til we meet again,


Thursday, October 18, 2012

Gulp: my 1st blurb evahh, from 'The Good Professor'

"The role of a writer is not to say what we can all say,
but what we are unable to say."
- Anaïs Nin

Yes, this blog is brand spanking new - still got the tags on and everything. Which only stands to reason, because this author is spanking the new. And I must admit that not having a single follower (yet ;-} greatly reduces the fear factor of literally baring my ass to the entire free world. But, since I'm determined to bare my ass, I figure, in for a penny in for a pound - so here's my 1st excerpt, typos and all...

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Down the rabbit hole I joyfully go!

"I wonder if I've been changed in the night?
Was I the same when I got up this morning?"
- Alice in Wonderland (1865)

In many ways, the life of a writer, is one that exists and thrives in a bubble...

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Shaking in my 5 inch stilettos...

"Break through the wall! Find my dream!...
Into a thousand whirling dreams of sun!"
Langston Hughes (1925)

Two years ago I began to write...