Friday, December 28, 2012


So we're in that dark period between television seasons and I find myself daydreaming about the many excellent programs whose return I am eagerly awaiting. I decided to make a list. I am NOT going to put these in order. (It would be like picking which of my cats I like best. Wrong and bad.)

Oh, and yes, this will be a long list. 

Once Upon a Time
I adore this show. Rumple rocks my world. And now they've added the most charismatic Hook ever.
Luckily Once Upon a Time returns soon.

Some of my other faves are making me wait. The worst offender: Sherlock. Yes, I understand why and I'm thrilled that these two fine actors are finding such success. But still...we may not see more Sherlock until 2014!!! Arghh!

Which brings me to another long wait but totally worth it show: Downton Abby. Here in the US, we are finally getting the new season early next month. I might make it.

But I'm hearing rumors that this will be Dan Stevens final season! What? Noooo!

I love me some Matthew Crawley.

The Christmas special has me buzzing with excitement for part two of season seven with the eleventh Dr. :)

Now, folks that know me know that I'm a wimp about scary movies and yet...The Walking Dead is still too good to resist.

Still many months to go before we find out what Bill is now on True Blood.

Who else loves the way Eric became the good one?

Now we're moving on to my guiltier pleasures. First up: The Vampire Diaries.

 I tried to resist but look:

le sigh.

And finally, the oh so adorable Hart of Dixie. I may have a crush on Rachel Bilson. How cute is she, right?


I rest my case. 

 I'm going to stop here-though there are still plenty of other shows that I watch. These are the ones that I'm most craving today.
What are you all watching?

Friday, December 21, 2012

Varney the Vampire-A Literary Remix

Hi all!

Back in October, GalleyCat hosted a large scale rewrite of  Varney the Vampire a penny dreadful from 1847. Participating writers were each assigned a single page from the "classic" gothic vampire tale to rewrite in the style of their choosing. This was very much anything goes project, so rewrites could be stylized spoofs or even cartoons.

The book is now available as a free download through Smashwords in many formats. So go take a look at my modest contribution or some of the others.

Varney the Vampire-A Literary Remix

Monday, December 17, 2012

Blood Debt

 Please welcome Nancy Straight to the blog today! She's here to tell us about her book Blood Debt. I asked her why she thinks we are all so in love with the paranormal. 

Ana, thank you for signing up for the Blood Debt tour!! Your topic was interesting because I’d never put much thought into why the Paranormal Genre is appealing to readers.

From the author perspective, there’s a lot of freedom to be creative when the character’s get to a
stumbling block in the story and I’m able to create a power for them to overcome their obstacles.
Anything can happen when writing about mythical creatures with supernatural powers! They
can have superhuman strength, they can fly, be immortal, be psychic and the list goes on.

I think it’s appealing to me as a reader for much the same reason. Life is full of all kinds of
demands on our schedules and days that easily fall into a routine -- it’s nice to live vicariously
through creatures who don’t suffer a mundane existence. They can all be young and attractive,
wealthy, and special – yet, still maintain human emotions. The paranormal genre is a way to
weave our emotions into extraordinary situations.

When our real lives are full of financial concerns, unemployment worries, stress or drama from
co-workers and friends it’s appealing to get lost in a story. It’s exciting when a kick-butt heroine
is fearlessly fighting demons, or falling in love with an immortal, or searching for the object that
will give her the happy ending we want her to have.

Title: Blood Debt
Series: Touched #1
Author: Nancy Straight
Release Date: July 13, 2012
Pages: 293

Amazon (Paperback) | Amazon (Kindle) | Smashwords

Her whole life, it had just been the two of them. Before her mother’s
last breath, she gave Camille the information she had craved her
entire life: the identity of her father. Daring to contact him, Camille
was welcomed by an entire family she never knew existed. But
nothing comes without a price, as she discovers when her family
claims a legendary heritage tracing back to a Centaur touched by
As she learns the secrets of her Centaur bloodline, she is drawn into a forbidden love
with Drake. Her family acknowledges her life may be the blood debt required to pay for her
mother’s transgressions. The same person who once held her mother captive, and forced her into
decades of hiding, now controls Camille. Her only chance is to seek a piece of her mother’s past
that will win her freedom and the life she desperately desires.

About the Author:

Nancy was born in Sioux City Iowa, left the cold of the Midwest in 1991 and only returns to see
family in the summer time. She spent ten years traveling the world as a US Marine and settled in
rural SC with her husband and two children.

She enjoys reading all types of Paranormal and Young Adult literature – so long as there is a
love story. She loves Starbucks’ White Mocha Latte and Mountain Dew, (but not together). She
has a lead foot so she sets cruise control when she drives, even in 25 MPH zones. Nancy almost
never wins when she plays Angry Birds, but keeps her 8 year old close, so he can clear the hard
levels for her. She grew up on a farm and is opposed to eating fresh chicken (not opposed to
meat - just opposed to any meat that was alive a few hours before lunch). Nancy has written five
Young Adult / New Adult novels and can be found nightly on Facebook and Twitter.

Enter here for a chance to win Blood Debt or (Book Two)Centaur Legacy! Winners will get to choose which book they'd prefer.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The Next Big Thing

"The Next Big Thing"

The super cool Jill Robi tagged me in this "freeze-tag style blog hop that’s going around Authorville."

Basically, if you get tagged, fill out the questions on your own blog about your upcoming writing project, then tag five additional authors, linking to their blogs or websites. Don't forget to let them know they were tagged. :D

I have several WIPs, but I decided to focus on my NaNoWriMo project to answer the questions. So here goes:


1. What is the working title of your book? 
Company for the Holidays

2. Where did the idea come from for the book? 
I knew I wanted to write a holiday story and I was tossing around ideas and this one just clicked. I think it will be funny and sweet and hopefully pretty unique.

3. What genre does your book fall under? 
Paranormal Romance

4. Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition? 
I haven’t really picked actors yet, but I have found a couple of pictures of models that look about right.
This guy definitely has the right feel for Heliodoro (Leo), the half human son of Apollo.

And this could easily be him and Claire.

5. What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book? 
Sometimes being naughty is the Christmas present.

6. Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
Hopefully, I will find a publisher for it. I like having a team support me.

7. How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript? 
The plan-one month. The reality-we’ll see.
J  Go NaNoWriMo!

8. What other books would you compare this story to within your genre? 
There’s a cute book by Katie MacAlister call Ain’t Mythbehaving that features romances between modern girls and ancient gods. My story is still quite different from hers, but I think they might attract the same readers.

9. Who or What inspired you to write this book? 
Wow. That’s a wild question. I don’t know about this book specifically, but my husband’s love and support inspires me to write period.

10. What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest? 
Claire is disappointed when her parents decide to take a cruise over Christmas but eventually decides to join them as a surprise. When they decide that they’d prefer a traditional holiday after all and cancel their tickets, Claire ends up alone on a ten day Christmas cruise. All she really wants is to go home for the holidays.

Leo has a solid plan to avoid his home until the last of the tinsel and lights of the season have been taken down. After all, the gods of Mt. Olympus are hardly fans of a holiday that celebrates a different god. All the whining and posturing is enough to give even an immortal a headache. He’s looking forward to a nice quiet vacation. But a couple minutes chatting with Claire has him thinking that maybe, just maybe, he’d like a little Company for the Holidays.


I’m tagging the following five authors to be the Next Big Thing:

1. Sotia Lazu

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Romance In The Rain

To celebrate the release of the Romance in the Rain anthology, author Claire Tisdale stopped by my blog to share her favorite romantic movies. She has some lovely picks.

Clare Tisdale’s Top 10 Romantic Movies

1.      Notting Hill — For its pairing of Hugh Grant—the quintessential dithering Englishman who’d be a complete dork if he weren’t so handsome—and All-American Julia Roberts—she of the huge smile, big hair and exuberant nature. Together, the two form an intercontinental alliance that contains the best of both worlds.

2.      Titanic  Winslet and DiCaprio are the Romeo and Juliet of the 20th century, only it’s a boat, not a family feud, that sinks the ill-fated couple.

3.      The Princess Bride — A sweet and funny movie. Robin Wright is so pretty, her prince so charming, the villains so goofily evil. What’s not to love?

4.      Parenthood — I have a soft spot for Keanu Reeves. He does hapless, befuddled and cheek-pinchingly cute so well. In this Steve Martin flick, directed by Ron Howard, he is the motorcycle-riding boyfriend of Martin’s rebellious teenage daughter (played by Martha Plimpton).

5.      The English Patient — Set in a crumbling Italian villa during the end days of WWII, a burn victim tells his story of passionate, doomed love to the nurse who cares for him.  Haunting, tragic and beautifully filmed.

6.      When Harry Met Sally — To me, Ryan represents the epitome of the rom-com heroine.  I wish someone had given her a youth serum at 30 so she could keep playing variations on this perky, funny young character forever. And Nora Ephron, who wrote the script, was an immensely talented writer and humorist. In the words of Ryan, “Nora was an era. We pictured ourselves inside her dreams and they became ours.”

7.      Grease — A Glee for the Gen-X crowd, Grease has visual pop, a fantastic soundtrack, and eye-candy leads in Olivia Newton-John and John Travolta.

8.      Dirty Dancing —“Nobody puts Baby in a corner.” And nobody who has seen Dirty Dancing can forget this film of forbidden teenage love, sultry dance moves, and fabulous songs.

9.      Walk The Line — The story of Johnny Cash’s life and the pivotal role his wife, June, played in his development as a musician and his recovery from alcoholism. Poignant and heartwarming.

10.  Casablanca — Bogey, Bergman, the war, the den of spies, collaborators, allies and refugees that convene in a little bar in Morocco a perfect confluence of factors go into making this my favorite movie ever.

Nice list, right? I'll post my own list soon. :) In the meantime, check out Romance in the Rain.

Title: Romance in the Rain (A Seattle Anthology)
Authors: Kristine Cayne, Dawn Kravagna, Charlotte Russell, Sherri Shaw, Clare Tisdale, Marianne Stillings
Publisher: Kristine Cayne
Release Date: October 15, 2012
Pages: 360

From the pioneer days of Seattle through the smoke-filled clouds of WWII and into the present, Romance in The Rain takes readers on a journey with four generations of the strong-willed and passionate Caldwell family. The anthology of six novellas is a collaboration of the Seattle-based Rainy Day Writers group.
Splendor in the Moss by Charlotte Russell—By the spring of 1853 Englishman James Caldwell has traveled thousands of miles in a quest to find a place to call home. Newly settled Seattle isn’t that place and he’s ready to move on again when widowed Mattie Jensen marches into his life as somber as a cloudy day. But James can see through the solemn haze to Mattie’s strength and passion. Now he has a reason to stay, if he can just convince Mattie to take a second chance on love—and him. (22,000 words)

Final Approach by Marianne Stillings—With the world at war, Women's Auxiliary Ferrying Service pilot Lt. Charlene (Charlie) Thompson faces personal battles as well. Pearl Harbor left her a widowed bride, certain love would never come again – but battle-scarred Capt. Joe Caldwell has other ideas for the beautiful lady flyer, if he can just keep her safe from the secret saboteur who's already taken the life of Charlie's best friend. (17,000 words)

Love Phantom by Dawn Kravagna—University of Washington, 1983: A great place to get an education and meet single men. Drama major Kara Caldwell prefers to hide behind the characters in her plays, yet feels pressure to live up to the example set by her brave and witty grandmother, a veteran of WWII. Can she learn to overcome her reticence and prejudices to discover which guy truly cares for her--and who is just putting on an act? (17,000 words)

What’s Wrong with Mr. Perfect? by Sherri Shaw—No sooner did Chef Ivy Turin wish to meet the perfect man than Sam Rockney walked into her restaurant. But is the sexy Seattle quarterback for real or is there something wrong with Mr. Perfect? (17,000 words)

Shelter from the Storm by Clare Tisdale—Seven years and one broken heart later, JD Caldwell returns to Seattle to pick up the pieces of his old life, never imagining he will fall for Maya—the mysterious woman who lets him into her house and bed but keeps the door to her heart tightly closed. When their summer fling takes an unexpectedly serious turn and Maya gives him his walking papers, JD has to decide whether their love—and his legacy—is worth fighting for. (21,000 words)

Aftershocks by Kristine Cayne—When Seattle is struck by a devastating earthquake, technical rescue firefighter Jamie Caldwell must save his estranged wife and daughter from the wreckage of a collapsed building. He's defied the odds hundreds of times, but will his luck finally run out for good? (24, 000 words)


Writing fiction is difficult and lonely and more often than not, the "normal" people in your life don't understand the writing process and can't fathom why you are possessed and obsessed with finding the perfect word or phrase that says exactly what you want to say right where you want to say it. Only other writers comprehend and accept that kind of torment.

To fill this need to surround herself with like-minded obsessive-compulsive self-doubting lunatics, in 2005, Marianne Stillings, who writes Romantic Suspense, established what came to be known as The Rainy Day Writers.

There were only two requirements for joining the group: You must be serious about writing and getting published, and any criticisms of co-members' work be honest, gentle, and kind.
Over the years, the membership has changed; some people moved on, others joined. The group we have now has been stable and constant since 2009. The Rainy Day Writers are a family.

Charlotte Russell joined the group in 2006 at the suggestion of a former member. Charlotte writes Historical Romance.

Dawn Kravagna became a member in the spring of 2007 because of a writers' list where Marianne had posted looking for new members. Dawn writes Comedy and Mystery.

In the Autumn of 2007, Sherri Shaw found her way to the group because she and Marianne happened to sit at the same table at the Emerald City Writer's Conference that year. Sherri writes Historical Romance and Paranormal Historical Romance.

Clare Tisdale joined in 2008 as the result of an email Marianne posted on the Greater Seattle Chapter Romance Writer's list seeking new members. Clare writes Contemporary Romance.

Kristine Cayne found the group in 2009 because she won Marianne's raffle basket at the Emerald City Writer's Conference that year. The basket included an offer to critique the winner's manuscript—an evaluation that resulted in an invitation to join. Kristine writes Romantic Suspense.

For more information on Romance in the Rain and the Rainy Day Writers, visit them at

Romance in the Rain Excerpts

Splendor in the Moss by Charlotte Russell
After telling the dog to stay, he steered her away from the Jensens’ cabin, towards the woods to the south. “Thank you.”
“For what?”
“Giving me the time of day. You were gone for such a long while, I wasn’t certain you’d come back.”
“I had to fight my better judgment.”
James laughed. He couldn’t put on airs around Mattie if he tried.

Final Approach by Marianne Stillings
    With the world at war, Women's Auxiliary Ferrying Service pilot Lt. Charlene (Charlie) Thompson faces personal battles as well. Pearl Harbor left her a widowed bride, certain love would never come again – but battle-scarred Capt. Joe Caldwell has other ideas for the beautiful lady flyer, if he can just keep her safe from the secret saboteur who's already taken the life of Charlie's best friend. (17,000 words)

What’s Wrong with Mr. Perfect? by Sherri Shaw
"Somehow I can’t picture you as a nerd.” You’re too perfect, Ivy silently added, fingering the amulet at her throat.  It hummed under her fingertips as the vendor’s words skated across her mind: If you truly want to find the perfect man, and restore your faith in true love, then this necklace will be your good luck talisman.” She dropped her hand, shaking off the crazy notion. It was merely a coincidence that she wished to meet the man of her dreams and Sam showed up. The necklace had nothing to do with it. Right?"

Shelter from the Storm by Clare Tisdale
A shadow crossed the window, and JD looked up in time to see a seagull fly by. Beyond the downtown high rises,  the waters of the Puget Sound lay brooding, glazed by morning mist. Much as JD hated starting over again, he realized that if he had to, he'd rather do it here than anywhere else. Seattle was his home; he belonged here.  Maya and her beach house had helped confirm that for him.

Aftershocks by Kristine Cayne
Adrenaline surging through her system, Erica hung onto the doorjamb as the quake rocked the old courthouse. The building swayed and groaned, windows rattled and shattered as the earth continued to tremble. Cracks raced across the ceiling and plaster dust showered down, covering everything in a thin white film. She’d lived in Seattle all her life but had never experienced a quake as powerful as this one.
And her daughter was all alone.

All giveaway ends November 22, 2012 at midnight. Make sure to only enter the giveaway you are eligible for.

Giveaway for US residents only.
Grand Prize:

- 1 autographed copy of Deadly Obsession + SWAG
- 1 autographed copy of Deadly Addiction + SWAG
- The Secret Diaries of Miss Miranda Cheever, by Julia Quinn (autographed copy)
- Blood Trinity, by Sherrilyn Kenyon and Dianna Love
- 1 e-book copy of “Falling Angel” by Clare Tisdale
- 1 handmade shell necklace by Clare Tisdale
- A handmade afghan crocheted by Marianne Stillings
- 1 autographed copy of AROUSING SUSPICIONS
- 1 autographed copy of SATISFACTION
- 1 autographed copy of KILLER CHARMS
- 1 bag of truffles from Seattle Chocolates
- 3 chocolate bars from Seattle Chocolates
- $15 Starbucks gift card
- 1 autographed copy of Cattle Capers: Search For The MooMoo Pearl by Dawn Kravagna

Prize #5: 

- 1 ecopy Deadly Obsession by Kristine Cayne
- 1 print copy Accidental Cinderella, by Nancy Robards Thompson
- 1 print copy Everything I Know About Love I Learned From Romance Novels, by Sarah Wendell

Prize #6: 
- 1 ecopy Deadly Addiction by Kristine Cayne
- 1 print copy The Angel in My Arms, by Stephanie Sloane
- 1 print copy The Naughty List, by Donna Kauffman, Cynthia Eden and Susan Fox (autographed by Susan Fox)

Prize #7: 
- 1 ecopy Deadly Addiction by Kristine Cayne
- 1 print copy Tsunami Blue, by Gayle Ann Williams
- 1 print copy A Tale of Two Demon Slayers, by Angie Fox (autographed copy)

Giveaway for both US and International residents.
Prize #1:

- 1 ecopy Deadly Obsession
- 1 ecopy of A Week to Be Wicked by Tessa Dare
- 1 ecopy of The Sergeant's Lady by Susanna Fraser

Prize #2:

- 1 ecopy Deadly Obsession
 - 1 ecopy of Unraveled by Courtney Milan
- 1 ecopy of Unlocked, a novella by Courtney Milan

Prize #3:
- 1 ecopy Deadly Obsession
- 1 ecopy of One Night in London by Caroline Linden
- 1 ecopy of Ruined by Rumor by Alyssa Everett

Prize #4:
- 1 ecopy Deadly Obsession
- 1 ecopy of Mr. Impossible by Loretta Chase

Prize #8-10:
- 1 ecopy Deadly Addiction
- $10 Amazon or B&N giftcard

Prize #11 US and International Giveaway