Friday, September 30, 2011

So, I have this friend...

I was talking to a very dear friend yesterday. I met her at a Tori Amos concert seventeen (HOLY CRAP) years ago through a mutual friend. I love this woman - she's amazing. And hilarious.

Now, it's a wonder that she even wanted to be friends with me after meeting me because I was nine months pregnant with Killian, it was the middle of a miserable, humid August and let's face it, I was the bitchiest bitch who'd ever bitched. I hated being pregnant. And I especially hated being pregnant in the middle of August. I was evil incarnate. And yet, this lovely woman liked me anyway. And I'm grateful, because I adore the hell out of her.

So, anyway, I was talking with her today about my hellish deadlines coming up and menages quickly became the topic of discussion. I have several due before the end of the year and we had the following conversation.

Friend: What I want to know, is are they written the way they happen in real life?

Me: I'm thinking no.

Friend: That's probably for the best. Whenever I was part of one, I felt like that hostess at a dinner party that wasn't going particularly well. Is everyone having a good time? Can I get you anything? Do you need more potatoes? It was exhausting.

Me: It's better in fiction. I have to blog this.

Friend: Do it.

And now, whenever I'm in the midst of writing menage scenes, I'm forever going to think about the beleaguered dinner party hostess. And it becomes very clear to me that I would never find myself in a menage for the same reasons I don't host parties.

Worry, social anxiety and a possible lack of potatoes.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

It's Winner Time!

First off, thank you to the super adorable Sommer Marsden for visiting the blog and offering a giveaway book!

And secondly, a big congrats to our winner, Beverly Diehl! Sommer will be emailing you, shortly. And thanks for visiting the blog!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Dakota Rebel's in the House! know...on the blog.

Since starting my publishing career, I've met a lot of fascinating and awesome people on the interwebz, and Dakota is one of the best. I love this woman. LOVE her!

I'd like to invite you to learn more about Dakota. And if you leave a comment you'll be entered in a contest to win a copy of her new ebook, Frienemies! Please leave your email address - contest closes Sunday night (10/2/11) at 8pm EST.

From what or where do you derive the most inspiration for your stories?

Brian and Justin and Harry and Draco have been HUGE inspirations for me. I like to picture either of those couples when I'm working on a new book. I feel both couples belong together and in my head every story revolves around their hotness.

Tell us about your upcoming releases?

The book I'm most excited for is Vamplet. It's a M/M retelling of Hamlet with vampires. It was so much fun to write and it's getting released in conjunction with several of my friend's (*cough, Bronwyn Green, *cough) retellings of classic Shakespeare works so I'm doubly excited.
I actually have a release coming out every month through the end of the year so that's pretty exciting for me. Mitch is being re-released in October with Resplendence Publishing. I also have a M/F short coming up. It's been a LONG time since I've written a M/F. I was surprised at how difficult it was for me. I kept trying to give the heroine boy parts. Lol. Habits die hard I guess.

What are you working on at the moment?

What aren't I working on, lol? I have many WIPS (work in progress) going at the moment. My favorites are the sequels to Mitch and To Hate and To Hold. But I also have a M/M that takes place in Las Vegas that I've been working on for over a year. Someday I may even finish that one. Maybe.

What would you do if you weren’t a writer?

Oh my God. I don't even want to imagine. Then these voices wouldn't be 'real' and I'd be in some sort of hospital for crazy people. I don't care for pudding enough to live in an institution.

What do you enjoy doing when you’re not writing?

I like to pretend to be a crafter. My mom and I are doing two craft fairs this year and when I'm not writing and/or editing and/or working at the day job, I'm covering things in paper and trying to come up with funny things to say in greeting cards. I love doing it, but it's harder than it looks and sounds. I tend to only have time after 9 pm and to anyone who knows me…that's not my best time. I prefer to be in bed by 9.05 pm when I can help it.

Of all of the characters you’ve created, who is your favorite and why?

For a long time, the answer to this one was a no brainer. I would have spit out Ethan Connor from To Hate and To Hold without even having to pause to consider. But now, well, I'm pretty fond of Elijah from Blood of the Fallen. And Donnie from Frienemies (because he may or may not be based on a fictional character I love and a real boy I adore.) Plus, there will always be a special place in my heart for Diego, my first published vampire from Sweet Dreams. You never forget your first.

Do you find it difficult to keep love/sex scenes fresh and interesting?

Not really. While in my head the boys may always look like one of the before mentioned couples, they always have their own personalities and styles. Every scene between my characters is special to them and special to me. That is enough to keep me on my toes and make sure their experiences are unique to them.

Do you listen to music when you write or do you need quiet? If you listen to music – what kind?

I almost always listen to music. And the style varies immensely. Some books call for classical, some for hard rock and one even seemed to thrive on Christmas music. You never know what the muse will want to hear at any given time so you'd best be prepared to make her happy. If momma ain't happy ain't no one happy.

What makes a man sexy?

I LOVE a funny man. Men who may not be conventionally handsome are insanely more attractive when they have a sense of humor. Preferably a sense of humor that meshes with mine. Inappropriate and quick, that's how I like my men…wait, that's not quite right.

Do you family and friends know you write erotic romance – if so, how have they reacted?

Most of my family knows. Before my dad passed away he told his friends I write westerns. Lol. He was very proud that I was a writer but he couldn't admit what I write. And my mom once asked me "Is this because I read gay porn when I was pregnant with you?" My in-laws have the 'don't ask don't tell' policy which is just fine with me. But for the most part everyone is very supportive and great about it.

What’s your favorite food?


Do you have any bad habits?
I still bite my nails on occasion. And I have a severe iron deficiency (and allergy) which leads to me chew ice constantly. Apparently this is terrible for my teeth and I really don't get the correlation between anemia and ice chewing, but I'm told there is one, so there you go.

If you were stranded on a desert isle, what five things would you want to have with you?

Ice. Internet. Laptop. A magic wand. Magical powers to go with the wand. (That's probably cheating but anyone who knows me knows I would never put myself in a position to GET stuck on a desert isle, so I'm assuming I'm a character in one of my books now and can have whatever I want.)

And here's a little bit more about Dakota!

Dakota Rebel lives in Detroit, Michigan with her husband Mr. Rebel and two incorrigible children, Jr. Rebel and Rebel Jr. 2.0.

Her friends are made up of the most amazing people on the planet. They not only accept her faults but often encourage them.

Dakota smokes more than she should, drinks less than she'd like to, and is the life of any party that ends by 9 p.m.

She adores her fans like nobody's business and encourages them all to email her at

You can find her at her blog, twitter and facebook.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Riding in Cars with Boys - Part Fourteen

Today on the way to school, we were discussing Halloween and costumes.

Corwin: I need a Russian accent for my costume.

Me: Beg your pardon?

Corwin: My costume needs a Russian accent. The guy is Russian.

Me: You realize they don't come prepackaged, right?

Corwin: Duh, mother. I have to develop one. Why don't we have an accent?

Me: We do. It's called a midwestern accent.

Corwin: Well, I'd rather have an Irish accent or a Scottish one.

Me: You and me both.

Corwin: I wonder what the girls at school would think if I had an accent.

Me: They'd probably love it. Trust me - girls dig accents.

Corwin: Memo to me: must get accent, soon.

Yep...that's the one I have.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Can you help?

The Barefoot Foodie, a.k.a Brittany Gibbons, is hands down one of my favorite bloggers. I love that she's not afraid to address things like parenting, marriage, mental health and body image with honesty and humor. She never fails to make me think, laugh or cry - sometimes all three at once.

Anyway, this isn't so much about Brittany as it is about her cousin, Colie. Colie and her 11 year old son lost everything they owned in a house fire two days ago. They also lost several of their beloved pets. I'm heartbroken for them.

Please go to Brittany's blog and see if there's anything you can do to help. Spreading the word is greatly appreciated. So often, when there's so much awful shit happening in the world, it often seems like anything little bit of positivity we might have to offer seems pointless in the face of so much pain. But it's not. Each little bit helps. Even if all you can manage is to hold the door for someone at work, please do it. I know this is gonna sound all crunchy-granola-hippie-love-fest but I honestly believe that each positive act builds on the one before it and that kindness and love really do have the potential to change the world.

So please, be kind. Help change the world. And if you can, please help Colie and her son.

And hey, this just occurred to me while I was in the shower - if you donate, there's a book in it for you. Either send me a note to or leave me a comment with your email address, your choice of one of my (single author) ebooks and the format you'd prefer. And no, you don't need to let me know how much - just let me know that you did. :)

Sunday, September 25, 2011

It's Time to Meet Sommer Marsden!

If you haven't met Sommer Marsden already, here's your chance! I have to tell you, this woman amazes me. She's super sweet, funny as hell and quirky-quirky-quirky. I know what you're thinking - she's my kind of person. She's also a wonderful, not to mention crazy-prolific, writer. And she's also giving away an ebook (winner's choice) to one lucky commenter, so just sit back get to know Sommer and leave a comment with your email address. The winner will be chosen by random Thursday, September 29th after 7 pm EST.

And now, the interview!

How did your writing path evolve?

I’m not even sure I have a path. More like a series of dark alleyways. But I’ve always wanted to write. And I did in grade school in a GT program and then I didn’t. And then I did in college and then I stopped. And then I did it ‘for real’ after girl child was born. And then I stopped! (do you see a pattern?). I was homeschooling the kiddos at the time. And then in 2005 I said screw it, I’m doing it for real and I’ve been writing every day ever since. See, more like a drunken maze than a path.
What type of research do you do for your books?

As little as possible. I loathe it (barring some really fun stuff like zombies). The reason being, I am usually more interested in telling the story of the characters than schooling the reader in another topic. I try to put in enough for it all to be plausible but not focus on the stuff that isn’t character driven.
From what or where do you derive the most inspiration for your stories?

If I ever find out I’ll tell you! Some things that have sparked entire books are: songs, song titles, random phrases, eavesdropping, people watching, the man...the man...the man (he’s a good muse), and the every wonderful ‘what-if?’

Tell us about your upcoming releases?

Ooooh. Big Bad is out October 14th. It’s the story of a Werewolf/Human/Vamp love triangle that involves reincarnation, bad guys, falling in love at first sight for the second time with the same person and a Scottish secondary character who is begging for his own book. After that is Long Lost the sequel to Big Bad and on my 40th birthday, December 1st!, my collection The Best of Sommer Marsden is out in the UK (US to follow). There’s more, but we’ll stick with all that shiny goodness! :)
What are you working on at the moment?

A book by a me who is not Sommer, a bunch of short stories for various editors and the first tickling of my next book as Sommer. Which is untitled but starting to whisper in my ear.
What do you like best about being a writer? What do you like least?

I like everything about being a writer for the most part. My least favorite of the lot is usually rewrites (which I don’t have to do often, thank goodness) and sometimes promoting myself. I’m not really a me-me-me! person and the need to put yourself out there is very real. So I do it. My goal, most days, is to do it in a way that I’m more chatting/interacting with folks than just banging my LOOK AT ME! drum.
What would you do if you weren’t a writer?

I have no clue. It’s been so long. However, I was very good at my old job. I was the Admin Assistant for 13 counselors at a medical rehab company. I was a paperwork Nazi. If you did it wrong, no soup for you! I also, on the days I get discouraged and/or irrationally irritated and threaten to quit writing, entertain fantasies of being a dog groomer at the local dog salon. Don’t ask me why. I’m not the world’s most patient person so I’d probably get mauled on day one.
What do you enjoy doing when you’re not writing?

I like se—oh, that’s not what you mean. I like to cook and bake and hang out on the sofa with the man (I’m a wild child, I tell ya). Of course, I love to read, and I do sew and craft (not as much as I used to). I run [insert hysterical laughter here. I shuffle with intent], walk, ride my bike to nowhere (exercise bike) and I sit around the fire pit with my family and force them to talk to me. I’m also addicted to reality TV.
Of all of the characters you’ve created, who is your favorite and why?

I have to say, as it stands right now, Ellis and Ruby from Big Bad. Why? Their dynamic together. I literally missed those characters when I was done writing them.

Do you find it difficult to keep love/sex scenes fresh and interesting?

Nope. I think it’s always interesting if you stay in your characters. Every person is different, so every character is different, so all sex should be different. Ya know?
What genre of books least appeals to you and why?

Westerns! (I don’t know why. I’ve just never been a fan of books or movies). Used to be Urban Fantasy/SciFi but writers like Stacia Kane Stacey Jay have made me more open to that genre.

Do you listen to music when you write or do you need quiet? If you listen to music – what kind?

Neither. I can’t do music because I get distracted by singing along (I’m one of those people who remembers 99% of the lyrics she’s ever heard) and quiet makes my mind wander. I write to the TV in the background. I might not focus on it or even know what’s on for hours, but it’s background chatter for yours truly to concentrate against, which makes me focus on my book/story.

What makes a man sexy?

His sense of humor. And his forearms.

Do you family and friends know you write erotic romance – if so, how have they reacted?

Yes and yes. Most have been great. A few have been shocked. But for the most part they just get irritated that I won’t let them read my work. Most of them know what I do but not who I am. Heh. Evil me.

What’s your favorite food?

French fries! Next question!

Do you have any bad habits?

The real question should be do I have any good habits. I do tend to hit late at night with a glass of wine and go through a streak of “ooooh, let’s put that in the cart.” And said wine. Beyond that, I’m fairly good. (Would you like to buy a bridge?)

If you were stranded on a desert isle, what five things would you want to have with you?

A cell phone, a lap top, a portable hot spot, a freight box full of wine and well, a boat, to get off the damn isle. :D

Do you have any pet peeves?

People who mumble, writers who rip apart other writer’s work (in my humble opinion you’d better have pristine and infallible writing to do this), people who shove their ideas down my throat, the believe that love at first sight is somehow laughable and the word ‘belch’.

What do you like about where you live?

We are a town known for characters. They’re good fodder for a writer.

If you could travel back in time, would you? If so, what time period would you visit and why?

God no. I have enough trouble not effing up the present. I have no urge to go mess stuff up that’s already happened.

You can also find Sommer on her Blog, Twitter and Facebook. Go do it! She's awesome!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

The Real Me?

That's been the topic over Writer's Evolution this week. Today is my turn to talk about the real me. So please stop over and say hi!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


Sigh...I don't know where my head is. The winner of Elise Hepner's new book was chosen on Sunday as planned.

And then I forgot to post it.


But, the winner is:

Dawn! (daydrmzzz)

Congrats!!! :D

Friday, September 16, 2011

Texts from Cait - Part Six

This is how I know my sister has been playing too much Candyland. Yeah, I said Candyland. She watches our niece and nephew on a regular basis and she also works at a childcare center at a gym.

This is apparently Cait on Candyland.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Getting to Know Elise Hepner

I know it's been interview central around here lately, but hey! There are fun new authors to meet and books to win! Today, we've got Elise Hepner and she'll be giving away a copy of her new book, Roped Emotions. All you need to do for a chance to win is leave a comment for Elise and your email address - easy peasy! I'll draw a winner Sunday evening.

Now, on to the interview...

What type of research do you do for your books?

Normally, I start by heading to my local bookstore in the mall and look up the sexual positions books in “Health and Wellness” section for inspiration for my sex scenes, since they most often come to me first before anything else in the book. From there, depending on what time period my story takes place, I use my Google-fu to check out images of the time period including houses, clothes, and any other relevant details.

But my favorite kind of research still comes from books in the library where I have to cross reference the back appendixes and fit all my information together like a piece of a puzzle. I don’t get to do very often because I don’t write many historicals, but I did get to do it with a steampunk work in progress and it was so much fun!

I habitually research—as a hobby. My husband loves it because he can use me to find any information he’s too lazy to find himself.
Tell us about your upcoming releases?

My new release is with Ellora’s Cave and it’s titled Roped Emotions. It’s a bondage fairytale novella based on the story of Rapunzel. Here’s the blurb:

Rapunzel is trapped by the harsh, inescapable reality of her prison, so she builds vivid sexual fantasies where she has full control and no one can take it away. If nothing else, at least she has command over her thoughts.

When Prince Samuel climbs into her tower it’s a small, satisfying excuse to break the rules—until his gentle touch coaxes her trust. But it’s not enough. No longer can she keep her dark, sexual secrets inside. Rapunzel yearns for rough, passionate sex—a way to unlock her sensual freedom for good.

Vulnerable but unable to turn back, Rapunzel leads Prince Samuel on an intimate journey to define their sexual limits, while twisting their definitions of control forever.

What are you working on at the moment?

Currently I’m working on edits for an erotica novel with EC entitled Not So Pure. It’s a modern day re-telling of Snow White with drugs, sex, and a Spike from Buffy the Vampire Slayer look-a-like.

What do you like best about being a writer? What do you like least?

I love that I can make my own hours and entertain myself throughout the day without ever leaving a chair. And the rush of getting an acceptance letter is an indescribable feeling that sort of becomes an addiction after a while.

I don’t like the waiting or my editing process. But those are two things that won’t ever change, haha.
What would you do if you weren’t a writer?

I would like to think that I could pick up a job at an e-pub somewhere since before I started writing professionally I worked for two small presses as an intern and acquisitions editor. Hopefully a job where I would be able to stay in publishing.

What do you enjoy doing when you’re not writing?

There is nothing I adore more than watching junk TV like Real Housewives shows, Vampire Dairies, and Teen Mom. I thrive off of TV because it makes my brain shut off and I need that working 12-14 hour days every day with not many weekends off. I also love any Sims game and—well, duh, of course I read!

What genre of books least appeals to you and why?

I’m really not a high fantasy or sci-fi kind of girl. I do read them, but it takes a lot to not make me stop in the middle and put the book away. Although there are exceptions to this rule because I’m really liking a lot of steampunk right now which could be categorized as an off-shoot of sci-fi. Also big on The Game of Thrones books by George R.R. Martin—just hoping that they will get happy—and soon.

What makes a man sexy?

Complete and utter cockiness and an ability to banter smartly and verbally play with a woman.

Do you family and friends know you write erotic romance – if so, how have they reacted?

My grandfather apparently reads my work. That was a conversation I wish I could have dodged.

What’s your favorite food?

Mac and Cheese and Olive Garden Breadsticks.
Do you have any bad habits?

I’m a really bad procrastinator only because I have way too much going through my head at any given time that I’m bound to push something off to the side just so I can breathe.

If you were stranded on a desert isle, what five things would you want to have with you?

My Nook, my husband, my two cats, Ian Somherholden, and paper.

If you could travel back in time, would you? If so, what time period would you visit and why?

Oh I would totally take that chance and travel back to the premiere of Gone with the Wind to seduce Clark Gable.

Where can readers find you?




How about an excerpt of your new book?

“What in Christ’s name…”

I must be hearing echoes from the town nearby, where Mother sells her herbs and braided goods. No one ventures this far toward my tower because Mother’s gone to great lengths to see that they don’t—bear traps are her new favorite method of discouragement. Once one life is claimed, I imagine word spreads fairly quickly to stay away from the area. Why then are there hoof beats that make my head pulse with a slight pain?

There’s no understandable excuse I can delude myself with any longer. Before I can focus on the consequences, I swing my head out the window into the oppressive, humid summer air. Just the very top of his head is visible, his hair brushing past his cheekbones, glowing from the sunshine and shot through with gold. Never have I seen a color so close to my own before—not that I see many people.

For a few moments I can’t quite come to terms with his presence and it’s not for a lack of staring that my pulse inevitably echoes inside my head like an overbeaten drum. This is my chance. Mother won’t be back for quite some time with her wares. He’s circling the tower, slouched over a horse who looks a bit like a nag. Certainly not a proper horse for a man with such fine clothes in gorgeous colors and sumptuous fabrics.

There’s no going back from this moment. It’s a certainty that makes my teeth chatter in a wash of cold fear, despite the heat, and my hands clasp around my middle as I try to hold myself together. He hasn’t looked up yet, more intent on studying the free-standing structure than noticing my shadow plastered across the grass. My mind is desperately working out what I’ll cry out to him. Even as my throat closes with an infusion of happiness that makes me rock on my feet.

“Excuse me?” A tentative question I’m not sure he will hear because it can’t be any louder than a frightened whisper. “Sir, you’re really not supposed to be here.”

Somehow, I’ve managed to make this part louder because he glances up—and his slack-jawed expression is a blow to my chest. He possesses the most gorgeous cobalt blue eyes. Underneath my ribs, the pain grows until taking a full breath is hard. Mother is right, he hasn’t even overcome his shock as my heavy plait of hair rests down the stone side of my prison. He’s not to be trusted.

What am I thinking? He won’t even come near me to aid my escape and his eyes are swamped in confusion—and there’s a flash of unreadable emotion that I refuse to question. He must leave here now and I must somehow convince him to bring no one back with him. I won’t be paraded around for anyone’s amusement. This man has made a mistake coming here.

Yet, there’s still a part of me that grips the windowsill until my palms are numb and that clings to the hope that he will at least acknowledge me. So long since I’ve had any kind of normal conversation. One that didn’t revolve around my hair, my rules or my mother’s day. Won’t he say anything? I’m as trapped by his thick silence as I am by the beauty of his face.

“Please, you must go and tell no one about what you’ve seen. You shouldn’t have ignored the traps. They are there for a reason.”

I don’t know how I’ve gotten that all out because my main focus lies on the foreign stirrings of heat in my cheeks as the pulsing sensation twists lower in my abdomen. What is happening to me? With a certainty that surprises me, I find myself clenching my thighs together, only to have the subtle touch of flesh-on-flesh be more than I can bear. He has yet to take his gaze from mine and a shudder slips up my spine.

“How long have you been here?” His voice carries the strain I hold back and I’m slightly put at ease that at least we are on similar ground. “Who did this to you?”

“For a man who is about to leave, I don’t believe it matters.”

The words barely tumble out of my mouth before I clamp my hand over my lips. I hadn’t meant to be so harsh and instantly regret it. He is so handsome—and these sudden urges, they are overwhelming and confusing to the point where I wish to completely remove the problem. My lips part in an apology and I watch a jovial grin span from ear to ear as he laughs at me until I can’t hear anything but the frantic beat of my heart.

Who is this man? Now he stares at me with a playfulness that washes a wave of goose bumps across my flesh. He doesn’t seem offended, merely amused at my suggestion that he leave. To further that fact, he quickly dismounts and ties his horse to a nearby tree branch. While I can only stare at the way his tight riding boots and breeches hug his muscular body from his calves all the way up to his perfectly rounded buttocks.

Though I’d learned of desire from my mother—and all its wicked principles—I never expected it to rear its head in my lonely, simple world.

However, now my life spirals out of control quickly enough that I tilt back against the wall to my left and watch with trembling hands. This mysterious man climbs the wall of my tower as if it had been built to be climbed so easily—without any aid from my hair. One strong, sun-kissed hand and booted foot at a time. When he offers up his hand to me to pull him over the side, what choice do I have? Even a man that strong would eventually grow tired and plummet to his death—and I want him tucked close to my body, not on the ground.

“I was beginning to wonder what it took to get some assistance.”

He softly grunts and clasps my hand hard enough that I gasp as I shift my weight to pull him over the side. Muscles I didn’t know existed inside me burn with sharp pain from disuse because of my isolation. His touch radiates heat all along my arm. If it wasn’t for his precarious situation, I would fight to pull away on instinct—but as it is, he manages to throw himself into my home with as much grace as a charging boar—and he trips, falling on top of me and sending us to the hard, stone floor.

His surprisingly soft hand brushes the hair out of my face and lingers, gently stroking, down my cheek. Should I be frightened? Probably. At the moment I can’t bear the thought that my first sincerely gentle touch from a man would be anything but special. His sharp leather scent surrounds my tingling skin.

“Isn’t this a day for surprises?” His gaze cuts through all the fear inside me and his mouth holds the subtle curve of a half smile. “I should move myself off you, this isn’t proper at all when we’ve barely been introduced.”

Yet he doesn’t move an inch.

A realization whips through my mind and would have left me on the floor if I wasn’t already pinned there by a gorgeous man who touches me with such reverence I might weep. When will this happen again? After this twisted, meandering path of fate, there is no doubt I will be alone again—and I want a loving memory to cling to at night when my old fears tighten my chest until I can’t breathe. This is a choice I can make for myself. And I won’t live the rest of my ordinary, sheltered life not knowing true passion when it burns across my skin.

“They call me Rapunzel.”


His inviting smile lights up my whole world.

Monday, September 12, 2011

And we have another winner!

I just completed the drawing for R.A. Evans' Asylum Lake, 2 hours and forty-two minutes late because I was on homework patrol. I will be so damn glad when this bug project is over.

Anyway, we have a winner...

and that winner is...

Tess Grant!!!

YAY, Tess!!!!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Pirate, Gypsy...Caitlin

Today is Cait's birthday. She's twenty-six, this year. For those of you keeping track at home, that's eighteen years between us. Our mom calls us her bookends. I'm the oldest, Cait's the youngest and there's nothing but boys between us.

I was so freaking excited when she was born. After three brothers and two step-brothers, I was dying for a sister. Not that I don't adore all of my brothers - I do. I really have some awesome ones. But, I still always wanted a sister.

It's probably a good thing there are eighteen years between us. This way we end up being not only sisters but the best of friends. If we were any closer in age, we probably would have killed each other.

She's one of the most amazing people I know, and I'm surrounded by them on all sides. Brilliant, a stickler for historical and grammatical accuracy, hysterically funny, kind (though she'd probably argue that) a natural with kids and a fantastic writer with a voice like a booze-soaked angel. This girl can sing. She's got a big, gorgeous voice that carries for miles. Also, she spontaneously breaks into song. I love that.

These words don't even begin to do her justice. I wish I could somehow share a little Cait with everyone. I think the world would be a better place. I know mine is far better because of her.

I love you, Didder! Happy Birthday to my girlie! You are the best!

Saturday, September 10, 2011


Soooooo, I was supposed to pick a winner for Anna Mayle's contest yesterday at 7pm...but I kinda got distracted by Italian food, cake and ice cream, a Rockband sing-a-long, and my family. We had Killian's birthday party last night, and I totally flaked.

I'm so sorry.

However, without any further ado

or excuses...

I give you the winner. just won your very own copy of Lullaby for a Stolen Child!!! Congrats!!!

I'll pass your info on to Anna, and you should hear from her soon!

Friday, September 9, 2011

How the hell did that happen?!

I honestly don't know how it's possible, but Killian is 17 today. Happy Birthday, baby.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

8th Grade Science, I Hate You Already

Tuesday was the first day of school. Not only was it the first day of school, it was also the day that the first big project of the year was handed out.

The Bug Project of Doom (Okay, I added the "of doom" part, but the bugs, that's all the science teacher, who's clearly a fucking sadist. But more on that in a bit.)

So for two hours today, I helped Corwin catch bugs (read: squealed and pointed) and so did Killian and Brynn's oldest son. They were awesome. Well, except for the part where they scared the hell out of me with this HUGE ASS SPIDER. And they discovered for themselves what kind of freak I am. I'm pretty sure the neighbors thought I was being murdered. The boys felt bad and hugged me. Apparently, they've never heard me make that noise before.

This is the evil spider... It's in a sandwich container and it's spider-y butt is about the size of a nickel. Too damn big in my opinion. Two words. Satan's Snowflake.

But I digress. So the boys collected other bugs and sealed them in their tupperware containers. Luckily, they found seven of the ten required. The spider was a bonus. An evil bonus.

Before I tell you this next part, you need to understand something about Corwin. He's really softhearted. When he was little, he wouldn't step on ants like his classmates, he'd protect them and try to build elaborate houses for them out of leaves and sticks. He's got the biggest heart of anyone I know. He loves animals and can't stand to see anything or anyone mistreated. Today, I learned that that love extends to bugs, too.

Part of this damn assignment is to kill the bugs so they can be mounted on a board and displayed for a grade. The methods are freezing and a cotton ball soaked with nail polish remover. Well, I don't wear nail polish, so there's no remover in this house. So freezing it would have to be.

I knew there would be a problem when he said to me from the backseat, "This grasshopper looks like he's thinking 'I get to go home after this, right?'" The commentary about the grasshopper continued off and on on the way home and by the time he had to put the bugs in the freezer, he was really upset about having to "murder them."

I was torn between telling him we'd just deal with the bad grade and he didn't have to do it and worrying that that would could turn into a habit of avoiding difficult tasks because he doesn't want to do them. By the time we made it home, most of the bugs were dead because of lack of oxygen. But not that grasshopper. No...of course not. He had to put it in the freezer.

We both realize that the coming autumn would have killed these bugs anyway. But that's different than being the one to do it. I get that 95% of 8th graders could care less about freezing a grasshopper to death. But then there are the 5% who want nothing to do with taking a life. Should they be made to? Did I fail him as a parent for not speaking up in time and saying, "Fuck the project."

I think I might have.

All I know is that I have a sad kid who's racked with guilt and keeps looking balefully at the freezer.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Introducing R.A. Evans and a Book Giveaway!

I'd like to introduce you all to R.A. Evans. He'll be speaking at the Grand Rapids Region Writers Group Conference with me in October. If you're interested in attending, we'd be more than happy to have you!

But let's get back to my guest. He's going to be giving away a copy of his book Asylum Lake - either print or e-book - winner's choice. All you need to do to enter is leave a comment. So what are you waiting for? The contest starts today and a winner will be chosen at 7 pm, September 12th.


R. A. Evans writes. By day he pours his creative energy into meeting the varied needs of his clients. By night, he writes for pleasure. It’s what he does. It’s who he is. If you like your humor dark, your blood-letting messy, and the creepiness factor cranked to eleven, he’s the author for you. His debut novel, Asylum Lake, hit the shelves to rave reviews and its sequel Grave Undertakings will be unearthed in Summer 2011.

A graduate of Grand Valley State University, Evans started his career at a small town newspaper, and has spent the past fifteen years working in marketing and public relations.

How did your writing path evolve?

I always suspected I had a story to tell but it took me some time to find my voice as a writer – not to mention the time to crank it out. After years of thinking about it I finally took the plunge and realized very quickly that the thought of writing was more difficult than the actual act. The words just came spilling out.

How would you describe your writing style?

I am all about organized chaos! For my novel Asylum Lake I started with 53 note cards – one for each of the chapters I envisioned for the story. On each card I wrote the chapter title. I recall shuffling through and reading those chapter titles and feeling like all I had to do was simply fill in the details. I didn’t write the story in order – which was actually helpful because the plot unfolds over the span of 60 years and in a very non-linear way. I used a similar approach for my new novel Grave Undertakings.

What type of research do you do for your books?

Probably more than what is necessary! For Asylum Lake I did a fair amount of research into the history of the mental health system in Michigan – everything from the architectural standards for the hospitals to the various treatment methods. The research didn’t stop there, however. I had to know what side arms and vehicles law enforcement were used by law enforcement in the 1950’s and 1970’s; I wanted to make sure all of the small details made sense so the large details would make sense. The last thing you want as an author is to let something bring the reader out of that temporary suspension of disbelief.

From what or where do you derive the most inspiration for your stories?

I want to believe that the things that go bump in the night are real...and they only way to keep them away is to write about them.

Grave Undertakings, the sequel to your debut novel Asylum Lake, is about to be released. Can you tell us a lit­tle bit about the series?

Asylum Lake is a good old-fashioned horror novel — accessible, creepy and eminently readable. It tells of a writer, Brady Tanner, return­ing to his hometown of Bedlam Falls, Michigan. Brady’s recovering from the loss of his wife and is trying to pick up the pieces of his life. Well, he’s come to the wrong place!

Bedlam Falls is a town that’s witnessed some terrible events over the years. And over it all looms the specter of the shut­tered asylum. Read­ers learn more about the gruesome incidents that have beset the town by way of flash­back — related through three generations of the Tanner family, all of who have been consumed, in one way or another, by the town’s sinister secrets. As the story unfolds readers learn why the asylum and its denizens con­tinue to cast a shadow over the town. And why Brady Tanner is now being tar­geted by a sinister supernatural force.

With Grave Undertakings readers follow Brady as he searches for the elusive Dr. Wesley Clovis. As the one-time hospital superintendent’s dark past comes to light, Brady finds even more shadowy connections between the troubled small town, the abandoned asylum, and his own family.

The veil of death will be parted; answers will be found and souls will be lost.

What are you working on at the moment?

My current project is FLIGHT and it’s my own personal take on the popular zombie scenario. U.S. Air Marshal Liz Downie thought she had lucked out with her assignment – a half-empty red eye from London to the states. The passengers – an odd assortment of State Department staffers freshly plucked from the embattled U.S. Embassy in Iraq. These aren’t your usual friendly skies, however. Tucked into the passenger jet’s shadowy cargo hold hides a secret the U.S. Military will do anything to protect – and Liz Downie everything to stop. Where do you run when you’re 30,000 feet in the air?

What would you do if you weren’t a writer?

My day job is as a marketing/public relations consultant. I help businesses both large and small with branding and messaging. It lets me flex my creative muscles in a completely different way and has been extremely helpful as I build my own author platform and promote my books.

What do you enjoy doing when you’re not writing?

I have three young kids so my interests are basically whatever they are interested in. When I
have the time I love to read and play video games.

Of all of the characters you’ve created, who is your favorite and why?

Why not just ask me which of my children I love best! There is a lot of me in the character of Brady Tanner – but he’s the younger and cooler version of me from ten years ago. He’s been fun to write because he’s real. He thinks and acts like I do – his world view is the same.

Do you have any writing rituals? Like times of the day, food quirks, etc?

Mountain Dew and Funyons are required! Other than that I am an equal opportunity writer. Just give me a place to plug in my laptop and I’m good.

Do you listen to music when you write or do you need quiet? If you listen to music – what kind?

Music is huge for me; I need the background noise. Pearl Jam is a must for me. Every writing session has to have some PJ! Beyond that, I’ll create specific playlists based on the mood of what I’m writing. It’s probably just not the playlists you would imagine. In fact, the bloodiest scene from my novel Asylum Lake was written while listening to Neil Diamond’s Sweet Caroline.
If you could give an aspiring author one piece of advice, what would it be?

Much like any activity practice makes perfect. I’m a much better writer after completing my second novel than I was when I started my first. That being said, a lot of what I write is complete rubbish. But every so often I’ll find that groove and bust our 3-5,000 words of pure gold. You just have to stick with it.

Where can readers find you? (website, blog, twitter, facebook)

The best place to find me is on my blog at You’ll have complete access to my random musings, book reviews, and my own author interview series 7 Deadly Questions. You can also follow me on twitter at Finally, on facebook at

Tuesday, September 6, 2011


Today is the first day of school for the 2011 - 2012 school year. I know most parents are overjoyed about their kids going back to school. I'm not one of them. All for purely selfish reasons.

Some are obvious. I like sleep. I don't like getting up two and a half hours earlier than normal so I can get them to school on time. I really don't like spending three and a half to four hours a day in the car driving them and their friends back and forth because damn, it cuts way too much time out of my work day.

Yeah, I know I made that decision when I decided to send them out of district so they could get an actual education as opposed to experience the crowd control method of teaching our local schools offer. And I don't regret it, but it is exhausting. Also, I genuinely like spending time with them. They're hilarious and genuinely sweet kids.

Other reasons I'm not crazy about the start of this school year is because it feels like the beginning of the end. Killian is starting his senior year and will be seventeen in three days. Corwin is starting eighth grade - his last year before high school begins for him. They're not babies anymore. Of course, they'll always be my babies, but I don't imagine I'll be rocking them to sleep anytime soon, or having them sit on my lap while I read them stories or just for a cuddle. I love the young men they're growing into, but I miss those days more than I can tell you.

And here's the thing. I'm lucky. I'm so damn lucky. I have my boys. So many people have lost their children to illness, accident or catastrophe. I get to see what comes next. I don't have to wonder what might have been.

Job-wise, this fall is going to be a little crazy-pants, but I'm going to try to be as present and in the moment as I can, because really, this - this life with these kids - is the most important thing I'll ever do.

So, I hope you'll forgive me. I've got a little something something in my eye.

Monday, September 5, 2011

New Contest - Anna Mayle's Lullaby for a Stolen Child

You might remember, almost a year ago, when I raved over Anna Mayle's book, Bedtime Story for a Stolen Child. Well, Lullaby for a Stolen Child, the second book in the series, is out!

Get ready for another heart wrenching story involving the cruel fae, the human that falls into their clutches and the changling who changes everything. And this is your change to win your very own copy!

All you need to do to enter is leave a comment between now and and Friday, September 9th at 7pm. So, so easy!

Check out the blurb and cover art!


Stolen Child Series, Book Two

They steal them away as children, drawn to their short but vibrant lives. They use them as dolls, slaves, entertainment of every kind, tasting the fierce brevity of human life through their captives. But there are times when a taste is not enough.

Where is the boundary between hate and love, love and lust, love and hate? Where do you draw the line between jealousy and longing? Is the passion of a killer the same as that of a lover?

And how can a human man hope to understand the ways of the two Fae who have turned his captivity upside down?

Friday, September 2, 2011

Randomness and Books to Win

No - I'm not playing hide and go seek. Hell, I don't have that kind of free time. Of course, if I did, I'd hide somewhere and fall asleep. I got next to no sleep last night. Too many things racing through my head.

If you've stayed with this stream of consciousness ramble this long, you might be interested in posts where I'm marginally more coherent. Oh! And there's a chance to win some books. All you need to do is go visit the amazing JoJo's Bookcorner Blog and leave a comment. And I've also got a bizarre little short story/writing challenge involving a cowboy, a bag of licorice and a game show (Blame Brynn) over at Writer's Evolution.

Oh, and I had a lovely review for Guardian's Challenge over at Nocturne Romance Reads! It got a 4.5 and the reviewer said:

Guardians Challenge has renewed my faith in Erotica. Lately, so many novels that have staked claim to being erotica have fallen short and settled nicely into the romantica category, but not this one! This book has it all….hot and steamy sex scenes, beautiful storyline, and strong tempestuous characters.

Now that I have experiences Ms. Green’s writing style, I’ll be sure to pick up her first book in the series Overlord’s Chosen and add her on my favourite authors list and pick up more of her tantalizing tales!