Thursday, December 31, 2009

I resolve...

Well, it's that night. And to paraphrase Queen Elizabeth's sentiments on the year Windsor Castle burned, 2009 is not a year I will look back upon with fondness. To put it bluntly, it rather stunk up the place. But all the crap I've been dealing with for the last year is soon to be done with. There are good things ahead for me and my family, and I plan on making the most of them by resolving:

To never again settle for less than I deserve.

To try to provide the best possible future for my kids.

To write more and angst less.

To not give a shit about what someone thinks of me unless they've shown me why I should care.

To play more.

To procrastinate less.

To reach for the things I want.

For all of you, if you had a great 2009, I hope 2010 is even better. And if your 2009 smelled like something a trucker left in the gas station bathroom after an all you can eat taco buffet like mine did, well, things can only get better right?

Right? Hellllloo.... Anyone? I'm right, aren't I? *ahem*

Friday, December 25, 2009

I got everything I wanted!

Okay, so I didn't want much, but well, that's the way I roll. Call me what you will--minimalist, frugal, a cheap date--it just doesn't take a whole lot to make me happy. Some time off work, the love of friends and family, the sight of three kids exhausted from an unbridled orgy of unwrapping, the smell of a turkey roasting, a few pairs of jeans with an inseam that won't leave me looking like I'm waiting for a flood....

Okay, so I really wanted complete peace in my house for 24 hours and didn't get it. What parent of more than one child does? And so I really wished I could be with all the people I love more than anything. What child of wonderful parents doesn't? But all in all, a good Christmas morning, with prospects for a great Christmas night. Hell, even the dog is in the spirit--I cooked a prime rib a couple nights ago, and she's gnawing on a meaty bone as I write this. The kids are up to their armpits in loot, and I'm two ounces into my first glass of wine of the day. My friend and her little boy and his daddy are due to arrive in just a few hours, and we all plan to gorge ourselves on the traditional seasonal victuals.

The stress of a couple days ago? Gone. This doesn't mean I got everything on my list done, mind you. But the deadline has come and gone, and I'm not about to sweat it anymore. It's freaking Christmas.

A merry one to you all! :)

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Excuse me while I...

...indulge in a much needed, quasi-public panic attack.

My ability to delude myself into believing Christmas was still days and days away, still plenty of time, don't sweat it, it will all get done? Well, it abandoned me at about 8:30 last night. I suppose it had to happen sometime. I mean, I may have some mad denial skillz, but time and Santa wait for no man (or dirty book writing procrastinator). And right now, the fat man's red-velvet covered butt is about to squash me but good.

Still to do:

Wrap about 40 presents. Separate the stocking stuffers into piles.

Purchase two more presents (OMG, how could I have thought I was actually DONE?)

Buy a turkey with my IGA Turkey Bucks, plus potatoes, a loaf of good bread, veggies

Dig up my cattle prod and make my kids clean and toddler-proof the family room so my friend's half-demon hellspawn will be unable to blow up the house Christmas Day

Locate my HazMat suit and clean the upstairs bathroom

Work my last shift until the New Year

Get bank stuff in the mail to my lawyer

Bake a couple loaves of Christmas bread (optional, but if I don't, boy will my best friend be annoyed when she shows up with my bottle of homemade Irish cream and I have nothing to give her)

Swallow half a bottle of Tylenol with codeine so my head doesn't go all explody

Find SOMEPLACE in my cluttered little house to stow 60 bottles of wine

Drink 30 bottles of wine to make room

Yup. There are benefits to being a last minute kind of person, but right now I'm having a hard time remembering what they are. Still, it wouldn't be the holidays if I wasn't curled up into a ball in the corner, shivering and sweating and screaming "I want my mom!" and praying for it to just be over. I hope when the men in white coats come for me, they'll be gentle. It is the holidays, after all, and we could all use a little good will this time of year...

Monday, December 21, 2009

Winnah, winnah, chicken dinnah!

Actually, we're having pork roast tonight, but whatever.

I asked my random number generator--otherwise known as Blammo, my third-born--to pick a number between 1 and 7. Fully embracing the role, he beeped, rattled, hummed, started emitting smoke, and then hollered "5!"

Which means flchen1, you get a platter of bland, rubbery veal, served up inside the thrilling plot of my first published book, Crossing Swords. I have your email, and will send ASAP (as soon as plausible, which means tonight, if I don't have a maternal lobotomy moment). Congratulations!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Contest at the Cafe!

I'm doing an impromptu contest over at Samhaincafe today, but any of you regular readers want to enter, go ahead and leave a comment here. Winner gets a digital copy of their choice of one of my four Samhain books. :)

ETA: Contest open until Sunday, 8:00 pm Pacific.

Thursday, December 3, 2009


Okay, just a small update for you all. I've been kind of incommunicado these days. I have a shit-ton of stuff to deal with, most of it less than pleasant, and haven't had the energy or the right mind-set for writing or blogging or even having long, convoluted email conversations with my online friends.

But, never fear. None of this is anything that a battalion of family law attorneys, a couple cases of beer judiciously applied and some primal scream therapy can't fix.

On the bright side--just so I don't close on a down note--I got my hair cut and it looks totally blammo. :P

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Holding Pattern

Yup, that's my life these days. I'm...not in a funk, precisely, but I am feeling very introspective these days. I have a birthday coming up on Saturday (39--OMG, I'm staring down the gaping maw of 40, holy hell), I'm trying not very successfully to wrangle my ex to sit down with me and negotiate our divorce, Christmas and New Year's is coming, so it's kind of a weird time. A time for navel-gazing and figuring things out--what I want for me and the kids, how to get there, all that crap.

Of course, that means I haven't been around much at all--not in any of my usual haunts on these here intertubes. I have been lurking a bit, but not posting much at all. Haven't been doing much at all in the real world either (other than surviving 10 days of my kids having swine flu and various personal irritations like postage mix-ups and fixing scratches in my laminate flooring with a brown pencil crayon and stuff).

In other news, my van is making a horrible noise that three mechanics have told me is likely the flex plate for the torque convertor. For all of you mechanically uninclined folks, that most likely means a $100 part and $800 labor. In other words, they have to pull either the engine or the transmission to replace one little part. But one of the delights of living in a small, close-knit community is that people don't like to see people like me get the shaft. An acquaintance has offered to do the work for free, because I'm a single mom and he knows my finances are tight. So I'm going to bake him a couple of authentic Danish Kringles and dedicate a story to him, and talk him up to everyone in town. I think I almost cried when he offered to do it, and it just makes me feel so good to be living in a place like this.

In other other news, my buddy's trailer is being repoed. Not the bad news you might assume. She doesn't own it anymore but her name can't be removed from the mortgage, so a repo means she can start rebuilding her credit that much sooner. On top of that, as a thank you to me for all the help I've given her in her recent troubles, she gave me her kitchen appliances. We swapped out my 30 year old fridge and stove for her 5 year old ones (and OMG, her oven is a conventional/convection combo--and it's self-cleaning!), and for the first time in my entire life I have a dishwasher. I put it through its inaugural run tonight, and I am so freaking stoked. The Saell family rockets into the 1970s! Yay!

On the not so bright side, my muse is silent. I have three WIPs on the go and none of them are calling me. I was thinking of doing a short erotica piece to get my groove back, so we'll see. I need to write something to dedicate to my philanthropic mechanic. :)

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Okay, when I disappear, I really disappear

Yes, it has been a while. More than two weeks, in fact, since I last blogged.

Can't say I even have a good excuse. I've been putzing around the net, lurking but not commenting, ignoring my writing, not doing much housework, just generally being a bum. I think it's likely the weather getting to me as it always does when the days finally start getting dark and short.

In addition, H1N1 has hit my house. My oldest came down with a fever, aches, joint stiffness and a cough on Wednesday, my daughter--always prone to extreme gastrointestinal distress--started bazooka barfing on Saturday morning, and Blammo got me up at 4 Monday morning with vomiting and headache. He had a nasty, phlegmy cough that made him sound like Tom Waits, a fever of 102 and a stuffy nose when we got up this morning. I took the day off work so I can keep a close eye on him. Unfortunately, whenever I give him enough Tylenol to bring his fever down and dampen the headache, he stops acting sick and starts acting like a regular, hyper kid who's cooped up indoors. Oy.

So far I have not succumbed, but usually once Blammo gets something, I'm next. I'll update in a day or two to let you know.

Good news is, it seems to be mild in all three cases. Firstborn was back to school yesterday--he still had a bit of a gucky throat, but wasn't even coughing anymore. Daughter is perfectly functional, but still symptomatic enough that I'll keep her home one more day. And Blammo is possibly the least miserable sick kid in the universe. No lying around and moaning for him. A shame, really. There's nothing like a mean virus to take the edge off a kid.

I am hoping to buckle down and get some real work done soon. I've just been...sorting out some stuff in my head, and I think I've mostly figured it out. Word meters should be maxing out fairly soon.

I know, famous last words... :P

Monday, October 12, 2009

Excerpt Monday

Excerpt Monday Logo

It's that time again. This month, I dredged up something from under the proverbial bed, the prologue of a novel I started years ago. The story is set in the same world as Crossing Swords--but about 300 years before the events in my published books.

I plan on dusting the cobwebs off of this one fairly soon and giving it the attention it deserves. The story deserves to be told. If only there were more hours in the day...

Saturday, October 3, 2009

So, it's been a while...

...and just so you all can stop worrying, yes, I'm still alive.

I've been in a bit of a holding pattern the last few weeks. School's started, but I'm not back in my groove yet. I managed to bang out about a thousand words on The Mermaid's Curse yesterday (celebrate the little victories, heh), but my house is still a mess. My grass is not cut. My filing is still waiting to be done.

Mostly, I've been indulging my internet addiction. Not blogging so much myself (although I did a couple posts on LVLM if you want to take a look), just misbehaving in other people's houses as it were. My one comfort in that is that the addiction cycles on and off, so I know it won't last much longer. And part of me is happy to just do nothing. After the summer I had, I need to recharge. Just...have some time without anyone needing anything from me. My poor kids. Their mother is running on empty. I'm just glad they're mostly self-sufficient--as long as I keep them in Froot Loops, Mini Wheats, oranges, grapes, frozen pizzas, a couple home-cooked meals a week, and they can find a clean pair of pants in the mountain of unfolded laundry in my room, they're okay.

I've also been sick with the plague for the last several days and took three shifts off work (two of those were extra, so it's not so big a loss, really), and the time alone was...beautiful. I got hardly anything done and don't feel guilty at all.

In other news, my youngest, Blammo, has taken a bizarre interest in vegetables, and has developed the ability to belch on command. Daughter is almost taller than I am and can no longer borrow my shoes because her feet are bigger than mine (which means she'll likely grow up to be an Amazon). Firstborn has apparently discovered an attraction to the opposite sex. I know this because he now showers every day without being asked, asked me to get him some whitening toothpaste, and has started scrubbing his acne. I'm worried.

In other, other news, I received galleys for Chancellor's Bride the other day. It's due out in print in May, yay! Unfortunately, I have nothing to put under the "Coming Soon" heading at the front of the book. :( Which means I really need to get working on my...stuff. Soon.

If any of you all have a whip handy, feel free to ply it. I can take it.

That's it.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

people are weird....

Okay, so I stuck a tracker on my website about a month ago, and now I can indulge my inner voyeur without getting myself arrested. This has, however, introduced me to a whole new world of bizarre and questionable Google search terms and the (I would expect) bizarre and questionable people behind them.

Most are pretty reasonable and applicable:

touching inside panties soaking

girls derty nickers with damp patch in [not mom-safe]

in side my knickers (not sure how these two hit my site, since I don't think I've ever used "knickers" in my fiction...)

steel between her legs

sitting across the office she parted her legs and showed me her [ahem] (have to credit this one--a complete sentence and every word spelled correctly)

he lightly touched her [ahem] with his tongue (again, astonishingly literate)

[coughcough] me through my panties

tear my pant with your teeth

romance thrust breasts hands (bwahaha! Why bother with filler words, let's cut to the chase, shall we?)

But other search terms give me mental images that I will never be able to scrub away, such as:

smell mom panties (oh, ewww)

.....or the one that made my eyebrows hit my hairline:

snake in my [place where no self-respecting snake would willingly go] (do I really need to comment further?)

So what do these people do when they get to my website? An astonishing number of them, even the aforementioned snake fetishist, spend between 20 minutes and a couple hours poking around, reading my free samples and looking at my bio.

Now, I've read some interesting books and seen some cool shows based on people who can read others' thoughts, and as a kid, I always figured it would be cool to have that ability. But looking at those last two search terms, I'm thinking I probably don't really want to know what's going on in people's heads. All things considered, I might just stop looking at my tracker and invest in a telescope and see what kind of normal, everyday shenanigans the people across the street get up to...

Monday, September 14, 2009

Excerpt Monday!

Excerpt Monday Logo

It's Excerpt Monday again, and I'm posting the first chapter of the f/f/m fairy tale menage I was insane enough to start writing last week. It's based on The Little Mermaid, but has a few twists. First, the merpeople are pretty much a bunch of elitist jerks. Second, the Sea Witch isn't evil, just...justifiably bitchy. Third, she wants in on the HEA.

Go ahead and read if you dare. :D

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Another review for Chancellor's Bride

BookUtopiaMom just gave The Chancellor's Bride 7 1/2 stars out of 10 over at Uniquely Pleasurable. Here's a snippet:

"Right away, the sensuality of the prose in this novel grabs the reader by the lapels and refuses to let go.....The brief prologue immerses you in both erotic and intelligent imagery, establishing a high standard for the rest of the story to meet. It continues in that vein throughout the novel, and in actuality, is probably one of its strongest assets. Even when I had questions and doubts about motivations, I could always rely on the author’s voice to compensate for it."

This is a bit of a mixed review, the kind that's extremely helpful to me, pointing out a lack of clarity regarding one character's motivations that I know has bothered a few other readers.

Just shows me that while I am certain that my characters' motivations and conflicts make sense, I need to work a little harder to convey those things to the reader, who is less well-acquainted with my world and its denizens than I am. And that I shouldn't rely so heavily on my voice to carry the reader past those points of doubt or confusion.

But I'm absolutely jazzed that despite the stated flaws, she still found it a "lush, seductive read", and would give other books by me a go. Now I just have to try to finish Collin and Harral's prequel (which will be short, I hope, though I know myself well enough to not promise that), or get another m/m(/f) to start calling to me. Because I did absolutely love writing this one.


Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Just needed to say...

...something I don't say often enough, but that I think about lot, and never more so than the last couple of months.

Mom? Dad? Thanks.

Thanks for being you guys and not someone else. Thanks for raising me right, for teaching me that people matter more than money, that what you do is more important than what other people think of you. Thanks for showing me what it is to own your mistakes, to have the balls to admit when those mistakes have fucked things up for other people, and to have the decency to try to correct them when you can.

Thanks for being there when I need you, no matter how stupid I've been. Thanks for helping me clean up my shit, even when I have no one but myself to blame for the mess. Thanks for helping me be a better parent to my kids, and a better friend to those who are important to me. Thanks for listening to me bitch, and for telling me to shut up when I've bitched long enough.

Thanks for teaching me that having a clean house is less important than having happy children. Thanks for teaching me that I don't have to put up with anybody's crap, and I shouldn't make other people put up with mine. Thanks for showing me that being happy is more important than having money, but that there ain't nothing wrong with having a little money, either.

Thanks for being an anchor in my life, for encouraging me to be independent enough to stand on my own, but unafraid to ask for help when I need it. Thanks for being proud of me, even though I didn't become a doctor or a lawyer or an architect or a computer programmer because I'd rather write smut and sling hash for a living.
I don't know if I will ever be able to express how lucky I feel to have you guys as parents. All I can say is thanks.
Just thanks.

Monday, September 7, 2009

I haz a dumb

Yes, I am stupid. Why, you ask (or not, as the case may be, since I may only be confirming what you already suspected)?

Because I started a new project.

Yes, with two projects already on the go, screaming to be finished and submitted to two separate editors at two separate publishers, I started a new one. If any of you are feeling the urge to dish out a good, sound spanking, now would be the time.

Of course, it's not my fault.

I blame Laurie M. Rauch, Samhain's new exec editor. She's the one who posted the open call for fairy tale-themed hot romance. She's the one who got me thinking about that most Scandinavian of fairy tales, The Little Mermaid. She's the one who put the idea of fairy tale, mermaid menage in my head. And now that dang sea witch will not leave me alone! She wants to tell her side of the story, and she wants in on the HEA, too.

I'm aiming this for Samhain's Red Hot Fairy Tale antho, but if it doesn't make the cut, I'll be subbing it elsewhere or posting it as a free read on my site. I've been writing for one day and I'm already 3600 words in.

This will be a short project--25k or less. We'll see how well I stick to that.


Saturday, September 5, 2009


Okay, I've been trying to hold out for more entries (which, as it happens, allows me to indulge my own laziness, which is one of those indulgences I hate to deny myself), but methinks it's time to announce the winners of the two contests I've been ignoring for the last month or more.

Sigh. I am so bad.

So without further ado, the winner of my Bound by Steel poetry contest is:


and, because I only had two entries, and I couldn't decide which I liked more,

Tarsilla gets one too!

And the winner of my Chancellor's Bride cheesy pick-up line contest is:


for her stunningly succinct entry, "Wanna fuck?"

As usual, if you could email me at kirstensaell(AT)yahoo(DOT)com with your info, I'll send your books as quickly as possible. Thanks for entering, and hope you enjoy them. And as always, feel free to let me know what you think, even if you think I suck rotten lemons or something. Feedback--even negative--is a good thing. :)

Monday, August 31, 2009

My sister told me to do it..., that is.

Being that we live on opposite ends of the second largest country in the world, she stays caught up on all the goings on in my life by reading this here edifying and edumicational blog. Being that I am one of those sneaky, crafty types, I have a tracker on this thing and am proud to say she visits just about every day, and has lamented of late that I don't post enough.

Well guess what? My life, it is boring. So boring I can't even come up with a half-way amusing analogy for how very boring it is.

To prove my point, here's a list of some of the highlights of my day:

1) Went to pee and noticed, to my dismay and chagrin, that an hour in a haz-mat suit with a bucket of bleach was not quite equal to the pervasive smell of "small boy, bad aim" around the toilet. Made a mental note to spend another hour de-peeifying the upstairs bathroom.

2) Answered the door in my jim-jams with sleep-goongas still clinging to my eyelashes to tell the dad of the little girl who is in love with Blammo that she wasn't in my house and I had no idea where she was. A half hour later, still in a state of dishabille, answered door again and repeated said conversation.

3) Cattle-prodded Daughter into washing the first sinkful of dishes. Forgot to cattle-prod Firstborn into doing the rest. Jeez that boy knows how to avoid work...

4) Took Blammo out to buy school supplies and also got shystered into buying a Push-Pop, two Kit-Kat bars to share with the other kids, and a box of Fudgecicles. Managed not to cave in when he wanted a Dragon Webkinz pet. Considered changing his online moniker from "Blammo" to "Iwanna", but deemed it too girlie.

5) Went out to help the little girl who is in love with Blammo get down out of the maple tree in the churchyard across the street.

6) Made trouble online by wagging my opinions in people's faces. Take that!

7) Cooked steak for dinner. Then decided after a couple of bites that I didn't really feel like steak, so filled up on garlic toast and corn on the cob instead.

8) Told the ringing phone to eff off, then answered it anyway. Agreed to send the kids back to their dad's for another overnight visit tomorrow, yay!

9) Told the ringing phone to eff off, then answered it anyway. Told the survey-taker that I'm just the babysitter and therefore not old enough to do his stupid survey. Gave him a better time to call--when I know I won't be home, bwahahaha!

10) Opened the file for Vessel, read it from the beginning, was suitably impressed by my awesomeness but then crapped out on continuing. I'm not quite there yet. Tomorrow afternoon, I think, is soon enough to pick it back up again. Decided to go read some back issues of Dan Savage's sex advice column at instead. *Holy crapping damn that dude is funny.

So there you go. An average day off for Kirsten Saell. I tell ya, it's a thrill a minute. For those of you still awake, I solemnly vow not to do another of these posts again. Sis, I think from now on I'll confine myself to posting about barfing kids, gushing scalp wounds, assorted vermin and other crises that make for more riveting reading. But never fear, the season of gigantic, hand-size spiders and Norwalk is almost upon us, so I'll soon have plenty to blog about. :)

*Mom, I don't think you'd appreciate Mr. Savage's sense of humor, or his sense of...anything, really, so don't look. Just don't.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Head on over!

To Victoria Janssen's, where I'm guestblogging on writing f/f(/m) for a female readership. Don't forget to let me know if you think I'm all confused or full of hooey. :)

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Guest blogging at Victoria J's

Victoria Janssen, fellow girl-on-girl avenger and totally blammo author of Harlequin Spice books like this:

And THIS (OMG, holy crapping damn this cover is HOT!!!):

...has been kind enough to invite me to guest blog over in her neck of the woods. Topic du jour: Writing f/f and f/f/m for the female gaze--a subject very dear to me and one that doesn't get addressed enough. The post goes live tomorrow (Friday, August 28), and I hope you all will come by to check it out and share your thoughts on how you think authors get it right, and how you think they get it so very, very wrong.

In other news, I spent the day moving kitchen stuff and shopping with my friend, trying to get her properly set up in her new digs. And miracle of miracles, the ex phoned to say he'd like the kids this weekend. He's been working 12 hour shifts, 7 days a week for about a month, so they've seen him for all of one afternoon since my friend and her kid moved in here the last week of July.

So guess what? I have the whole house to myself for two whole days. I ought to be able to get everything clean that fell to chaos over the last five weeks, watch some porn, and have the time and privacy to drill that hole in my skull to let the pressure out. Now where did I put the masonary bits...?

Hugs. :)

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Update, the second

Well, my bud and her hellspaw--I mean, little boy--will be moving out. In a matter of days. I'd do a happy dance, but I'm too exhausted. Plus, I'm saving my strength to help her move, because despite my aversion to lugging heavy objects, I'm prepared to go that extra mile to get rid of h--I mean, help a friend in need.

This means that very soon my muse will rise from the ashes of stress and dirty dishes like some bloated, overweight Pheonix, glutted with scenes I've practically memorized but haven't had the time or a space of calm to put to paper.

This has happened before when things get stressful and busy here, and the ensuing episode of muse-barfing may not be pretty, but often proves to be hugely productive. Expect large jumps in my wordmeters.

In other news, the creepy crawlies of last week are gone. Unfortunately, an infestation of fruit flies has emerged to replace them. I've got a small bowl of rice wine vinegar on my kitchen counter, nearly black with their dead bodies. Also, a few larger ones impaled on bamboo skewers and displayed in prominent places as a warning to others. Too bad the little suckers are too dumb to choose another house to set up camp in, and opt instead to perish by the hundreds in my acrid, culinary pool of death. Die, arthropod scum, DIE!!

Ahh, the joys of summer.

In still more news, my royalty statement from July--which reflects a mere ten days of MBaM sales for The Chancellor's Bride--is almost three times the size of the largest of my previous statements, proving that two guys and a chick really do it for readers. I'll have to think more on this, and see if there are any more m/m/f stories lurking in the dark, evil recesses of my smutwriter's brain.

This does not mean, however, that I plan to abandon the hot girl-on-girl action anytime soon. Setting aside the dubious nature of metaphors that employ seafood and lady parts, I'd rather be a big fish in the small f/f pond than a small one in the vast guy-on-guy ocean. Money's nice, but it ain't everything.

Hugs. :)

Monday, August 17, 2009

All ur head are belong to us!!

So the rotten little girl was at my house when I got home from work Friday night.

Not IN the house, mind you, because she's not allowed. But she was standing outside the downstairs window with a Gamecube controller, playing Smash Bros with my three kids. My buddy (who's living with me until the end of the month) wasn't aware my daughter and her "friend" were playing fast and loose with the letter of the law, but had been wondering why the dog was growling and barking the whole time I was gone (George used to belong to my bud when she lived three houses down from rotten little girl, who made a habit of taunting and harassing the poor thing--the dog absolutley detests her).

This girl is absolutely the worst kind of influence. At only 11 years old, she's already manipulative and sneaky, and her parents just do not keep track of her. She'll knock on your door at 7 AM on a Saturday, and not go home until after 11 at night--and they don't even worry. They don't wonder where she is or what she's doing, or even whether she's eaten. They once phoned at around midnight wondering if I might know where she was. They didn't seem distraught. The mother told me "Oh, I know she's probably just sleeping over at a friend's house." WTF?

And she has lice. Ugh. I have a friend who works at the elementary school. She told me she spent the whole school year having the girl and her sister shower at school (they don't at home), and trying in vain to get rid of the damn things. But without the cooperation of the parents, it's a losing battle. And it's now been six weeks of summer vacation. Six weeks since the last treatment. I can only imagine the level of infestation at this point.

And guess who now has the little bastards crawling around in their hair? My damn kids. There were no nits to speak of (that I could see), but Blammo, especially, is crawling with the little buggers.

So guess how I get to spend my days off? Scrubbing my kids' heads with extra-strength Denorex (apparently salicylic acid works well), and washing all the bedding in hot water. I am overjoyed, as you can probably tell.

I rinsed them all with vinegar tonight, combed through their hair and picked out all the adults I could find. By the time I was done, it was almost midnight.

All I can say is, "Some people's kids..."


Saturday, August 15, 2009

First review's in

The Chancellor's Bride scored with Katie Seely at ParaNormal Romance. Though reviews on that site tend to be brief, I'm damn happy with this bit:

"A scorching hot love triangle!"

And this bit:

"I highly recommend this book, but please remember to keep a fan handy. You're going to need it."

Heck, if that isn't enough to tempt a couple of people to enter my poor, neglected, past-its-prime pick-up line contest, I don't know what will. :D

Monday, August 10, 2009

August Excerpt Monday!

Time for yet another Excerpt Monday. This week, for lack of anything more timely, it's a snippet from my recent Samhain release, The Chancellor's Bride (m/m/f polyamorous erotic fantasy romance), which is selling like whoa and like damn at MBaM (but could always do better *ahem*).

And miracle of miracles, this excerpt is actually clean enough for my mom to read (if she were so inclined), but hopefully intriguing enough to, uh...intrigue you all. Yeah, so I used "intrigue" twice in the same sentence. It's late. Go ahead and sue me, I dare ya.

Hope you guys enjoy it. If you do, and you want a copy for nothing but a cheesy pick-up line, allow me to direct you to my currently stagnating cheesy pick-up line contest. Because the stagnant cheese is getting a little ripe--as stagnant cheese will--and all I need is a few more entries and I can wrap that baby up. :)

In other news, I am not in the nuthouse just yet. Ask me again in a week.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009


Okay, due to forest fires in our area creeping close to the power lines that service all of north Vancouver Island, they may be shutting off the power within the hour to minimize the risk to firefighters. It could stay out for as little as six hours, and it could be out for up to four days.

So if no one sees me around for a bit, don't worry too much. I'm just here in my dark house with four horrible children and nothing to entertain them but bickering. Maybe I'll have them fight to the death. Not only will they be entertained, but there will be less of them...


Today's the day...

Bound by Steel releases in print! Yay!

To celebrate, I decree a contest! I'm giving away a copy or two, signed by moi and shipped (knowing my tendencies to procrastinate and forget stuff) within a month of announcing winners.

For this contest, I want you all to compose a haiku, limerick or free form poem based on the following blurb:

A night of brutality destroyed her innocence…can the love of two people heal her wounded spirit?

“I’ve been thinking about Kaela…”

There they are—the words that lead Gil to suspect his wife Lianon is falling in love with Kaela, the beautiful, traumatized young woman they rescued from certain death six months ago. Gil has no idea how to compete with a woman for his wife’s affections, and part of him ceases to care as Kaela begins to work her way under his skin.

Kaela’s sweet innocence fills a chasm in Lianon’s soul she hadn’t even realized was there. As she gently helps Kaela rebuild her shattered confidence, Lianon begins to believe healing the young woman’s wounded spirit could be the key to wholeness for all three of them. If Gil agrees to follow her lead and help Kaela discover her own feminine power.

But even as they all succumb to their growing desire, Gil and Lianon are drawn against their will back into the intrigues and vendettas of Belthalas’ elite. With Lianon’s life at stake, Gil must weave a dangerous path between one adversary’s ambition and another’s lust for vengeance.
Success will save Lianon…but could cost them Kaela.

Product Warnings
This title includes explicit sex, including f/f, m/m, m/f/f, anal sex; bad language; questionable politics; violence; stringy, overcooked lamb; a dog with a major drool problem; and one seriously well-deserved comeuppance.

Haiku example:

Help! What do I do?
Wife's hot for the housekeeper.
What the heck--I'm in.

Limerick example:

A couple named Gil and Lianon
Adored one another, until anon
Kaela watched their lovemaking
And after partaking
Required a bigger bed to slumber on.

All right, pretty lame, but I'm sure you all can do better. Do your best, do your worst, gimme lolcatspeak if you like. It's all good. Winner gets a signed copy.

I'm not going to post a deadline just yet, but I expect to announce a winner within a week or two, depending on how many entries I get.


Saturday, August 1, 2009

Is it bleeding?

Hehe, there I am enjoying my first coffee of the day, and the front door bangs open. Howling skirls up the stairs as Blammo charges inside and starts wailing "Mom, I hurt myself!" I turn in my chair to see him coming up the stairs, the entire front half of his hair saturated and bright red, blood covering half his face and dripping from his chin and nose.

"What did you do?" I ask as I usher him into the kitchen and grab a tea towel to soak with cold water and press it onto his...whatever is bleeding.

"I slipped at the park," he wails, "and hit my head on a rock!"

My buddy is hopping from one foot to the other, looking panicky, then decides she'll deal with the trail of blood on the floor and stairs.

"You're okay, dude," I tell Blammo, pressing the towel hard onto his head.

"Is it bleeding?" he asks.

The kid is literally covered in blood and he asks if it's bleeding. Um, okaaaay. "Yeah, dude, it's bleeding quite a bit, but it's probably just a little owie. Scalp wounds tend to bleed a lot, even if they're small."

After ten minutes of swabbing and trying to see through his trademark Saell thick hair, I still can't see the wound clearly, so I get him into the bathroom and get a tub running. "Hey, dude, you need to hold the towel so I can get your shirt off." I look at the blood all over his shirt, the size of the neck-hole and the size of his head, and decide, "I'm going to cut it off."

"CUT WHAT OFF??!!" he howls.

"Your shirt, dude," I laugh.


After about five minutes of pouring water over his head, I see an abraded patch about an inch in diameter, and two tiny perforations maybe a millimeter long. Through which, he bled a half a gallon of blood. And it's still seeping a bit. Stupid scalp wounds. But he won't need stitches. He's now playing World of Warcraft with a teatowel pinned turban-style around his crown, with a baggie of frozen corn tucked inside.

And the little bugger has been milking it for all it's worth--"Mom, I want some juice. Mom, I want some Dibbs. Mom, I can't reach my grapes. Mom, can you help me sit up? Mom, I wanted my salami rolled up, not flat." Oy.

Oh well. He's fine, if a bit whiny. But that was my morning. Wheeee!


Friday, July 31, 2009

OMG help me

Well, we're well into week two of my buddy and her three-year-old demon spawn staying at my house, and not surprisingly, nothing is getting accomplished. My word-meters are stagnant, emails in my inbox go unanswered and there are still 842, 560 dirty dishes in the sink. Every time I go to work, I think to myself, "I don't want to be here, but god help me, I do not want to go home." On top of which, she won't be able to move out for another week or so. Oy. My liver ought to give me a medal for not descending into full-on alcoholism at this point.

But lo, it is a long weekend, and the little guy's dad is going to take him for three nights. Angels are singing right now, I can hear a whole choir of them in my head as I type this.

Does this mean I'll be able to get my house clean or my WIPs written or anything productive done between now and Monday? Probably not. But I will make myself at least start an article for Victoria Janssen's blog--we're tentatively scheduled for August 28th, which is later than I'd like, but I did leave it til the very last second of the very last minute so I'm not about to complain. It also gives me more time to procrastinate, and my therapist says my self-esteem benefits from concentrating my efforts on what I do best, so procrastinate I shall.

For article ideas, I'm thinking "Writing F/F for Fun and No Profit", lol. Or how about "F/F/M: Two Hot Babes Seein' to Mah Manly Needs"?

Um, no.

I think my topic of discussion will be "F/F/M: Not Just a Straight Guy's Fantasy". Coming on the heels of Bound by Steel's print release (August 4th, BTW), and in light of my EC-aimed project, Vessel, I think it's topical, at least for me. I only hope I can do the subject some justice, especially since my brain no work so good right now.

I also have to arrange for some promo for next Wednesday (the 5th) to do at the Samhaincafe, and plan a contest or something for a print copy of BbS.

And I know most of you all have not entered my (admittedly half-assed and hurried) pick-up line contest for The Chancellor's Bride (still holding at #6 on Samhain's bestseller list), which is something that will have to change, because I absolutely refuse to announce a winner when there are only three qualifying entries. So get to it! I mean it. I'd say all the cool kids are doing it, but clearly most of the cool kids have other things to do.

And that's about all the coherence my brain can manage today--which does not bode well for my performance at work tonight, but oh well. They love me there, even when I mess up every two seconds and can't string an understandable sentence together.

Hugs. And if I don't blog again for a while, it will be because I've been committed--perhaps voluntarily. Maybe in the nuthouse, I'd get five minutes in the bathroom without all hell breaking loose on the other side of the door. A girl can dream...

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Oooooh, purty.....

Just lookit what the Purolator lady brung me yesterday afternoon! My buddy was there with me in the driveway when the van pulled up, so we got to open the box together, and she oohed and ahhhhed over how gorgeous this cover is.

This book is longer than my first two, as well, and it feels nice and thick and heavy.

Of course, I'll be giving away a signed copy or two as the official release day nears, and I'm also hoping to do a guest post on Victoria Janssen's blog (if I can think of something remotely relevant and entertaining to write about, that is).

The next couple weeks, I may not be around here as much as I'd like. My friend and her three-year-old are staying with me for now. We're hoping to get her old place cleaned up and ready for her to move back in next week--that means steam cleaning carpets and scrubbing stuff with bleach and moving furniture. But having a three-year-old who sprung straight from Satan's loins in my house has taken a blunt object to my muse and left it a mangled mass of bloody pulp on the floor. On top of that, my ex is unemployed, and can't afford to take our kids as much as I'd (and they'd) like. So it's a full house this summer.

Just five more weeks. Just five more weeks. Just five more weeks...

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

if it doesn't rain...

I'm currently on the road on an emergency trip to help a friend, and won't be around until late tonight. And it's release day. Oy.

As far as The Chancellor's Bride goes, how about you all think up some goofy pick-up lines two men would use to woo a reluctant woman into their bed? Make them funny. Make them lolcat. Whatever. Leave as many as you like in the comments. Winner gets a copy.

No time for more--gotta check out and hit the ground running. Next stop, Canadian border. In four hours...

ETA: I'm home, got in late last night. Will be around off and on today because I have to work. Oh, and I already got an email from a reader telling me how much they loved the book--how's that for fast? I'm pretty stoked. Hugs. :)

Thursday, July 16, 2009

News, all good

Thing one: This morning around 6 AM, I woke from a disturbing dream and wasn't able to get back to sleep right away. I relish moments like that, moments when I have nothing to do but let my mind wander where it will, turning over rocks to see what kinds of things it will find underneath.

Well, this morning it found the resolution to Lianon and Rhianna's second black moment. The story's been stalled for a while (which was okay, since it gave me time to work on Vessel), because once the two heroines had come to realize they were in love with each other and wanted to be together, I just wasn't sure how to get them from declaration to the HEA. Theirs is a complicated story and there are just so many obstacles between them and any kind of happy future, I was stymied by the problem of removing them all.

But as I lay there this morning, a scene just came to me--not a scene between Lianon and Rhianna. One between Lianon and the Kurgan, Samulo. A sweet, sad, wrenching scene that lays Lianon's heart bare and shows her Kurgan mentor/lover for the unbearably honorable, unutterably generous man he is. It shows just how deeply and perfectly two people can love each other, even when things between them are at their ending. I cried and cried, and I'm getting a little teary even now as I write this.

So. I've revised the wordcount on my word-meter, got 1.5k written, and I know where I'm going, so finishing this thing is only a matter of getting the time to do it.

Thing two: I received my final books for Chancellor's Bride from Samhain today. That means contests which means free books for a few lucky readers. The official release is Tuesday next, and I'm starting to get really excited. So keep your eyes open in the next day or two or three for a contest post.


Tuesday, July 14, 2009

f/f vs. lesbian

I posted a rather long and rambling post on LVLM today on the question of whether lesbian romance is synonymous with f/f romance. Part diatribe, part stream-of-conscsiousness, part genre analysis, it explores many of the reasons I believe the two genres aren't simply six of one, half a dozen of the other.

Any of you all want to go check it out, please do! It's even mom-safe. And leave a comment--even if you think I'm full of hooey. I'd really like to hear opinions, even those that differ from mine.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Excerpt Monday July

It's time for Excerpt Monday once again, when authors post odds and sods from their published work, upcoming releases and works in progress. As promised, I've prepared a little taste of Vessel, my new f/f/m fantasy romance, for you all.

This story is completely unrelated to all my other work, set in a different made-up-by-me universe with characters I'm already starting to adore. I'm planning to submit it to Ellora's Cave, and I'm crossing my fingers that they'll like it. It would be totally blammo to be one of the first authors in a long while to place a book with them that features some of the hot girl-on-girl(-on-guy) action.

And dang, is this book gonna have loads of that. This will be a true f/f/m polyamorous romance, similar to Bound by Steel. All three characters get in on the bed stuff, and all three get to share the happily ever after. The story's 18 ooo words in and almost writing itself. The complications, they abound. The ironies, they are suitably...ironic. The thwarted love, it is soon to be requited and then some. All that good stuff.

And fortunately for my mom, this particular excerpt is PG. Yup, mom's got the green light to go have a peek. Sorry to disappoint the rest of you. :P

Saturday, July 4, 2009

New Project!

Okay, I've mostly resisted bragging all over blogland about Ellora's Cave inviting me to submit my work to them (direct to their EIC, no less), based on their reading of Crossing Swords and Bound by Steel. All question of modesty aside (because I have none), I was keeping fairly mum because I wasn't sure I had a project to send them. It's been my intention from the start to keep all my Emissaries-related books at Samhain (unless I manage to flog them to Tor or something--hey, hope springs eternal, right?), and since I've always set my stories in the universe of the Emissaries, well, I was kind of stymied.

I wasn't sure I was up to building another world. Thousands of years of history and mythology, religion and politics, cultures and customs? Oy.

But pretty much everything I've ever written has evolved from a handful of characters and a single scene, and a week ago, three characters popped into my head. Ralameis Antiog, a princess raised in a glittering palace where men rule and women are silent, forced into a political marriage with fierce tribal prince, Yavarro Singael. Harsh and ambitious, the finger-bones of his enemies woven through a hundred braids of his hair, he scares the living bejabbers out of her. Between them stands his vessel, Roucana, the shield upon whom each blow meant for him must fall, his will made flesh, obedient in all things. His vessel happens to be a woman. She also happens to be in love with him.

As you can see from the new wordmeter below and to the right, I'm already more than 5000 words in, and things are about to get complicated between the prince, his new bride and his vessel. Bad decisions will be made, feelings will be hurt, the heart's innermost longings will be laid bare.

And yes, there will be plenty of hot girl-on-girl-on-guy sexx0ring. Because with EC now considering dipping its toes back into the girl-on-girl pool, despite the fact that they told me I could send them whatever I liked, well, I'm the stubborn type. I know m/m/f BDSM would likely be received better, but being contrary by nature, it will be one man and two strong women from me, and all the bondage will be on the inside.

I'll be posting an excerpt from this WIP on Excerpt Monday, which is in just a week. Considering how my stomach was all tight and tingly playing out the scene in my head, I have some hope it will be both hot and heart-wrenching.


Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Summer Reading Trail: July

From the Trail Head at

Follow this trail and discover great new writers this summer. These free reads include short stories, serial installments, deleted scenes and book excerpts from published and unpublished authors. This trail will run from the beginning of June through the end of September, and stops will be updated on the first of every month, so you can enjoy a summer of reading. You are encouraged to explore authors' websites and blogs, to take a moment to leave them a comment and to bookmark sites and visit often.

My own contribution to the July Trail is a brief erotic scene (m/m, f/f(/m)) connected to my upcoming release, The Chancellor's Bride. This particular scene does not appear in the novel--in fact, this will be the only place you'll be able to read it until (unless?) I get my butt in gear and write the rest of the story.

From the moment I wrote Collin and Harral's characters in Bound by Steel, I was determined to give them their own story, and that's what I did in The Chancellor's Bride. But when C's B begins, Col and Harral are already an established couple. Part of me still wanted to explore the very beginning of their relationship, that initial spark that drew them to one another. I wrote their first meeting a few months ago with the intention of posting it as a free read as release day approached. The July Trail gave me a great opportunity to do that.

Hope you all enjoy! And don't forget to follow the trail and read more stuff by some great writers!


So despite a delay caused by my inability to convince the ferry service to transport my children on a boat full of combustibles and toxic chemicals, I managed to get the little...uh...treasures off to their dad's for a Canada Day that will hopefully be filled with lots of laughs, togetherness and roasted marshmallows, and a minimum of bickering, fire-pit mishaps, and firecracker-mangled body parts.

This means that I....wait for it....HAVE THE HOUSE TO MYSELF FOR TWO AND A HALF DAYS!!111!!!111!


Odd thing is, I hardly know what to do with myself. I've already tidied the living room; got the kitchen mostly in order; went on a quest with my dog-catcher buddy to catch a stray husky (it eluded us, the sneaky devil); collected the laundry from all over the house (literally--there was a pair of dirty socks in the deep freeze. Don't ask); got the garbage ready to go out to the curb tomorrow; walked my dog with her new jabby collar that prevents her from strangling herself while simultaneously crushing the bones of my hands; eaten pizza (frozen, but still not bad); poured myself a Caesar; spent an hour looking at stuff on the internet I wouldn't want my mom to know about; watched some TV; did some editing; and now I'm watching Futurama (the episode with the anchovies) and doing this blog post. And coming to a realization that has shaken me to my very core.

I actually *gasp* miss my kids.

Now don't get me wrong, I'm overjoyed to see the rotten little cubs leave the den to go hang with papa bear for a few days. But it is hard to adjust to the lack of noise, arguing, mayhem and general distraction they create. But I swear, as god is my witness, I will not waste this time alone. I will write. I will fold nine loads of clean clothes and *shudder* put them away. I will vacuum and dust, without having to worry about a pack of young'uns following me around undoing all my good work. I will stay up as late as I want reading dirty books. I will dance around my house in my underpants if the spirit takes me.

Cue bagpipes and a gut-wrenching close-up of Mel Gibson's face as you scream one single, inspiring word with me: FREEDOM!!!

That is all.

Friday, June 26, 2009

My Own Private Hell...

...begins today.

Yup, today is the official start of Summer Vacation. Altogether more than 9 weeks of glorious togetherness for me and my horrible children.

Oh, the bickering! Oh, the boredom! Oh, the unceasing demands for popsicles and change for the convenience store! Oh, the futility of trying to get Firstborn out of his jim-jams and into clothes every day!

I go into each summer with a vague sense of dread, the joy of not having to get up in the morning for more than two months tempered by the realization that my kids are now mine to deal with. This dread is usually amplified by the impending arrival of my stepsons, and often the older one's girlfriend and various buddies who also come out for a couple weeks.

Between my recent separation from my soon-to-be ex, and school issues with the boys, they won't be coming out this summer. I'm bummed, because I love them and miss them, but at the same time, I'm relieved that my first summer as a single parent won't be complicated by fourteen+ hour round trips to pick them up at the airport, finding room for them to sleep in my tiny house, and dealing with all the mayhem that accompanies their visits.

And now that my youngest has decided he doesn't hate the water, I'll be able to send him and his sister to the pool on nice days (nice being defined as warmer than freezing with winds slightly less than hurricane force), and the park IS just across the street. Firstborn will likely plug in the moment he gets up this morning, and stay attached to his computer for the full nine weeks. If he thought he could get away with it, he'd get a feeding tube and a catheter to pee through so he'd never have to get up. I console myself with the fact that he's doing actual, real constructive stuff on there--he's got an animation hobby and some of his scenes are pretty damn good. He's as obsessively fastidious with it as I am with my writing, and as lazy about everything else in mother, like son.

But still, I am now outnumbered in my own personal fiefdom, and after a week or two of freedom, the serfs, they get restless. Time to hide the pitchforks.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Dudes, it's a Special Day, Apparently

Fanatasy/SciFi Writers Day, that is. So proclaims Sharron Lee, and who am I to argue? Fantasy is the genre that first aroused true booklust in me. It's also what led me to want to write.

I'm giving a nod to just a few authors because you'd all be shocked--shocked, I tell you--to know how poorly read I am in what I claim as my favorite genre. I'd just like to thank them for giving me hours upon hours upon hundreds of hours of pleasure over the years.

J.R.R. Tolkien--well, no duh, really. Despite the occasional difficulty I had with his lofty prose (hey, I was like 9 or something), the moment I closed The Return of the King, I picked up Fellowship and read the whole shebang all over again.

Brent Weeks--my newest auto-buy author. The first book of his Shadows trilogy was an Orbit $1 special not long ago, and I picked it up from Sony. Three chapters in, I went and bought the other two at full price, and DAMN, it was awesome. No sex to speak of, but incredible nonetheless.

David Gemmell--can't really think of anyone who's written more fantasy novels, and though I didn't love every single one of them, there wasn't a DNF in the lot. From his futuristic/post-apocalyptic gunslinger Jon Shannow to his interpretation of Alexander the Great's story, to his latest (and last, sadly) Troy series, I gobbled them up like candy. Good thing my boss had pretty much every single one in paperback, sitting in a box in his closet. I spent six months back in 2005 reading nothing but Gemmell. And doing pretty much nothing but reading, heh.

George R.R. Martin--A Song of Ice and Fire. Dark, unpleasant, often leaving me with a vague nausea at how his characters treat other human beings, but so well written, I could not stop reading. Come on, George, how much longer must I wait for the next one? Do I have to beg? Send cookies? What?

Stephen R. Donaldson--this might seem strange, but I really did not love either of his most well-known fantasy series. I got through the first Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, and it was good (not reread good, but I did like his unlikable hero quite a lot), but the second one? Ugh. He totally redeemed himself, however, when he wrote the Gap Series. Science Fiction is hit or miss with me, and boy, did this one nail it. It has all the horrible, hideous, self-serving cruelty of humanity at its absolute worst, tempered with moments of perfect, unflinching self-sacrifice. The good guys (or what passes for them, heh) win, and the fact that their battle is fought at such huge personal cost to them only makes their victory sweeter. And he's damn good at making you feel for a character who does unforgivable things.

Guy Gavriel Kay--I've always wanted to write, but his Tigana is the book that made me want to be a writer. And every book he's written since then has only made me fall in more deeply in love with his work. I've reread every single one of them, some more than five times. He makes me cry, he makes me care, and his prose is so heartwrenchingly beautiful at times, he made me fall head over heels in love with the English language. Which is doubly amazing, since if I recall correctly, his first language is actually French.

That's my shortlist. And as I look it over, I'm noticing there are no women authors up there. Can't help but wonder what that means...

So how about you all? Who are your absolute favorite Fantasy/SciFi writers?

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Another Contest!

I'm over at the SamhainCafe today, posting some excerpts for my print release, Healer's Touch, and decided to run another contest. Because I'm just that magnanimous. :) This is a special, extra contest in honor of SamhainCafe's print promo day, but anyone can enter.

Same prize--a signed copy of Healer's Touch.

Same rules--come up with a caption for the cover (extra points for translating it into lolcatspeak), the funnier the better. And this time, just for fun, I'm going to pick the most lewd, sexually groan-worthy one of the bunch. So do your worst--and dirtiest. Enter as often as you like.
Here's the blurb once more for inspiration:
She’s determined to break his eight centuries of celibacy—at any cost!

Darjhian healer Aru has been in exile for eight hundred years, barred from the Deathless Land and parted from his wife. Now fallen from grace and no longer immortal, he can never return to her.

Yet he cleaves to his marriage vow and holds himself apart from everyone—especially Viera, the former prostitute whose sexual energy provides the power needed for his healing work. She presents a temptation he must constantly hold at bay if he’s to keep to his vow.

Viera isn’t interested in fighting temptation. She wants Aru. He wants her. What could be simpler? After three frustrating months working with him, her need for him has reached the breaking point. He claims he can never touch a woman again, but Viera isn’t the type to take no for an answer.

Over four glorious nights, she shows Aru everything he’s denied himself for eight centuries. But a shadow hangs over their passion. Aru is keeping secrets about the nature of his mortality. And now he faces a terrible choice…

Break Viera’s heart, or risk destroying her with the knowledge of what he truly is.

Product Warnings

This title contains: graphic sex, including anal sex, f/f and m/f/f; bad language; inappropriate use of a kitchen work surface; flagrant tickling of ivory; and a wagon-load of good, old-fashioned voyeurism.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

All right, already!

Okay, okay, you all can stop nagging. Oh, wait, my mistake. That was my conscience nagging, telling me I've been a lazy, unorganized, neglectful lump.

I promised a winner, and a winner you shall have, even if it kills me--which it might, and won't you all feel horrible then.

And, contrary to what some of you will have expected, it was one of the clean entries that tickled my funny bone the most. Yeah, I'm in an odd mood these days, so sue me.

So the winner of the lolcat contest thingie and proud owner of a copy of Healer's Touch embellished with my John Hancock (hehe, I said "cock", hey, I haven't changed that much), is Tarl, for this G-rated yet apt caption:

Yew got Lytning bug in yer hairs. I gets it for yu!

I'm sorry, but it was too cute, and too perfect. And I know what you guys are thinking--all those orifices and penis jokes, and this is the one I pick? Next thing you know, I'll start writing Young Adult or Sweet Romance, and when that happens, the men in white coats can't be far behind.

Congrats, Tarl! Well played! If you'd send along your mailing info to kirstensaell(at)yahoo(dot)com, I'll have your book dispatched forthwith. :)

Monday, June 15, 2009

Excerpt Monday!

It's once again time for Excerpt Monday, folks. This month, I've posted a steamy bit from The Chancellor's Bride, so if you all want a sneak peak, go look.

For some more steamy excerpts, try:

Evie Byrne, Historical Romance (R)
Aislinn Kerry, Paranormal (R)
Kim Knox, Erotic- Sci-fi Suspense (R)
Ella Drake, Sci-Fi Romance (NC 17)
Annie Nicholas, Sci-Fi Romance (NC 17)

Or go tp the Excerpt Monday site!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

I promised a contest...

...and a contest ye shall have.

In honor of the print release of my second book, Healer's Touch (40% sex/volume), I am asking, nay, demanding you all come up with some brilliant diamonds of lolcatesque wit in my "Caption that Cover" contest. And no, I did not steal this idea from the Smart Bitches' post of yesterday--allow me to direct your attention to exhibit A, my comment timestamped 9:26 AM, May 27. Hah! In their faces! In fact, I bet those Bitches have been lurking around here and stole the idea from me! But I'll get them, don't you worry. And when I do--


As I was saying, I want lolcatspeak, and I want funny. And I know you all can deliver it. Enter as many captions as you like, and the winner will get a signed copy of the title in question.
Here's the blurb, for your edification:
She’s determined to break his eight centuries of celibacy—at any cost!

Darjhian healer Aru has been in exile for eight hundred years, barred from the Deathless Land and parted from his wife. Now fallen from grace and no longer immortal, he can never return to her.

Yet he cleaves to his marriage vow and holds himself apart from everyone—especially Viera, the former prostitute whose sexual energy provides the power needed for his healing work. She presents a temptation he must constantly hold at bay if he’s to keep to his vow.

Viera isn’t interested in fighting temptation. She wants Aru. He wants her. What could be simpler? After three frustrating months working with him, her need for him has reached the breaking point. He claims he can never touch a woman again, but Viera isn’t the type to take no for an answer.

Over four glorious nights, she shows Aru everything he’s denied himself for eight centuries. But a shadow hangs over their passion. Aru is keeping secrets about the nature of his mortality. And now he faces a terrible choice…

Break Viera’s heart, or risk destroying her with the knowledge of what he truly is.

Product Warnings

This title contains: graphic sex, including anal sex, f/f and m/f/f; bad language; inappropriate use of a kitchen work surface; flagrant tickling of ivory; and a wagon-load of good, old-fashioned voyeurism.

Deadline for entries is Wednesday the 10th at 11:59 PM.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Howsh it goin, you guysh?

I am stoned.

My injured neck and shoulder finally sent me to the doctor yesterday, and after commenting that he'd never seen two shoulders quite so uneven (my left has been riding about two inches higher than my right for the last week), and prodding my strained muscles and tendons, he told me to take two weeks off work and gave me a blammo prescription for cyclobenzaprine. He also recommended I see the chiropractor--we have a guy who comes to town once a week, and the first six visits are covered by medical.

Of course, there's no way I can afford to take two weeks off work, but I am taking a couple of days. Carrying trays of drinks and heavy plates of food in my left hand had me in agony over the last five shifts, to the point that after three or four hours my shoulder and my ear were trying to make sweet, savage love with each other. Even on Robaxacet, within ten minutes of starting a shift, I was lurching around like Quasimodo, complete with pained grimace and inarticulate grunts.

The cyclobenzaprine works much better than the Robax, but holy crapweasels, does it ever knock me on my ass. I took my first one last night at 5, and by 7 I was zonked on the couch, a puddle of drool forming on my pillow. I'm hoping that the side-effects will calm down between now and Friday, since my boss is stuck covering for me at work and I can't imagine he'll be having fun working a Friday night by himself.

This will also stall my writing for a bit--despite the perfect ergonomics of my La-Z-Boy/laptop setup, doing between 1 and 3k a day for the last little while hasn't been helping me get better. So I'm just going to take it easy and try to keep it under 1k a day. Although I refuse to take a total hiatus--I'm on a roll and could lapse into writer's block at any moment, so I have to forge ahead while I can.

The annoying thing is, I didn't even do anything to deserve this. Just about everyone has asked (with mandatory eyebrow waggle) what exactly I was doing when I threw my neck out.

Um, sleeping. Alone. I went to bed fine last Tuesday night, and Wednesday morning I couldn't turn my head. Which really, really sucks. I mean, if I'm going to injure myself in bed, I'd at least like to have earned it. But no, apparently sleeping is a high-risk physical activity for me.

Jeez, I feel old.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Ooooh, Lookit What I Got!

Normally when the doorbell rings, it's the local Jehovah's Witness out to save my soul, or the obnoxious neighbor kid who won't go away until you apply your hint with a sledgehammer and a barrage of rotten produce, or a kindly passing pedestrian letting me know that my brake lights are stuck on again. But this morning, it was the Purolator lady with a basket of goodies for me. Yay!

As she handed over the box, she grinned and asked, "More books?" How's that for living in a small town--everyone knows everybody else's business, and they're often just as excited as you are when awesome things arrive.

Have to say, I'm as stoked as I was the first time. I'm wondering if it's ever something you get used to--holding your own book in your hands. As much as I love ebooks, as much as I hold to the belief that they're just as "real" as print books, there's something very...tangible about paper and ink. And the knowledge that now my work is accessible to the 90+% of the population that prefers print to digital doesn't hurt, either.

I will, of course, be putting one or two signed copies up for grabs as release day nears, and will think of something suitably mortifying for you all to do to qualify. I'm sure you won't disappoint me, either.

Just so you know, I haven't sniffed these books yet. I've been on muscle relaxants all week since I put my neck out on Tuesday, and I'm worried the fumes from the ink will interact with the drugs. Best to play it safe. :)

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Procrastinating... harder work than you might think.

My kids went to their dad's on Sunday and, Monday being Victoria Day here in Canuckyland, they stayed there overnight. This meant I had the entire house to myself for over 24 hours. My boss, realizing the rareness of this occurrance (on par with a planetary alignment or the day my daughter says no to cake), offered me the night off work, too, so I had nowhere to go, nothing to do.

Woot! So what's a writer to do with 24 uninterrupted hours but sink into the La-Z-Boy with the laptop and write some blammo smut?

Apparently plenty.

I spent all day Sunday cleaning my house. Living room, kitchen, family room, bathroom, a week's worth of clean laundry finally folded (but not put away yet--baby steps, people). Oddly, I'm a little disappointed in myself. I take a certain pride in my ability to maintain the stereotypical facade of the absent-minded, slovenly, obsessive writer. On any normal day, my house could be falling down around me, and I'd rather be bloghopping, writing or engaging in lengthy email discussions about books.

But never fear. I haven't quite gone over to the dark side yet.

In between these uncustomary bursts of domestic activity, I managed to read the entirety of Ann Aguirre's Grimspace (yes, I'm the last person on the planet to read it, but I've now remedied that), and enjoyed it so much I purchased the second in the series from Sony before I went to bed so I could start it first thing Monday morning. Monday, I did nothing but sit on my ass and gobble up all of Wanderlust in one orgy of sci-fi gluttony before the kids walked back in the door at 3:00. And I had pizza delivered for dinner because the last thing I felt like doing was cooking.

After dinner, smut time, right? Uh, no.

Despite the fact that Lianon and Rhianna have been trying everything short of semaphore to get my attention back where it belongs, I spent the evening tinkering with the beginning of my giant, huge, epic fantasy WIP from ages long past (ten years ago, to be exact), the wellspring of all my current books. I'd originally written it in MSWorks, and saved it in individual chapter files, and I'd been dreading the Herculean task of taking each one and going through them, paragraph by paragraph, to modify the formatting and copy them into one file. As I went, I began to read, and got sucked in.

Not by the awesomeness, but by the suckage.

Much as I love the story itself, some of those scenes... *shudder* Oh, the horrors of my then-newbie mistakes! POV inconsistencies galore. Clunky dialogue riddled with "As you know, Bob" exchanges and a dismaying lack of contractions. Infodumping that would shame even Robert Jordan. Redundant redundancies that are appallingly redundant.

"What was I thinking with those funky dialogue tags?" I expostulated to myself. "And the redundancies? And what's with all the telling? Where's the subtext? Do my readers need to have every little thing explained to them? Are they idiots? And the fade-to-black sex scenes? Sheesh, is one orgasm too much to ask? Also, the redundancies, what's up with them?"

In desperation, I opened some of the later chapters and was much reassured that my writing has improved over time. But damn, that thing is going to need some work.

One day, I'll be up to performing the radical surgery that will make that puppy ready for submission. One day, I will conquer it. But not today.

Today, my friends, is for smut. Hot girl-on-girl smut. Nothing will stand in my way, dammit.

Lianon and Rhianna, here I come...

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Cover Art Squee!!

Well, here it is, in all its nekkid glory: the cover for my July release from Samhain, The Chancellor's Bride. If there's one thing that can be said for historical fantasy, it's that stock photos with, you know, clothes suitable to the period are hard to come by, resulting in an abundance of cover heroes and heroines strutting around in their birthday suits. And you won't hear me complaining about it, either...

Those of you who have read Bound by Steel may recognize the two lovely gentlemen in the blurb below--Chancellor Collin and his lover-cum-manservant, Harral. The moment I wrote their characters, I knew I had to give them their own story--and a woman they could both love to bits.

Her love for two men could save their future. Her secrets could destroy them all.

Recently re-elected Chancellor Collin sur-Gaerig is a rising star on the political scene, and everyone expects he’ll soon be rewarded with an estate and title. He also has a dirty little secret: he’s in love with his manservant, Harral. If anyone—especially the wife he’s expected to take—discovers their affair, all his aspirations will go up in smoke.

The mysterious woman he finds lying half-dead in the street is strong, beautiful, independent…and aroused when she catches him and Harral in a compromising position. As Aelis worms her way past their closely guarded defenses and into their bed, they realize she’s the perfect match for both of them.

But Aelis has a secret of her own, an ex-lover’s blackmail scheme that could get them all killed. To save the men she’s come to love, she’s willing to sacrifice her own happiness, maybe even her life.

Collin’s not about to let that happen. For the first time in his life, he’s willing to risk it all in order to have it all. Even if it means he could lose the man he’s loved for years—and the woman they both want to love forever.

Warning: This book contains explicit sex, including m/m and m/m/f; violence; bad language; financial irregularities; uneaten dessert; gratuitous invocation of various deities; and breakfast-table hijinks you’re not likely to witness at your neighborhood IHOP.

For those of you scandalized by the idea of a dessert going to waste, I'm just going to apologize and say the plot demanded it. I can't be held responsible. The muse made me do it.

If you all would like to read an excerpt, I have one up here--and it should be safe even for my mom to read. I'll be posting some steamier stuff as the release date gets closer, along with the obligatory contest wherein I demand commenters say embarrassing things in lolcatspeak for a chance to win a copy.

For now, I'm just going to sit back and stare at the unbelievably sexy curve of that woman's spine, and ponder how a man's armpit can get me all hot and bothered...

Monday, May 11, 2009

Excerpt Monday!

It's Excerpt Monday again, that day when a bunch of us share links to excerpts from contracted work, released books or WIPs. Everyone who's playing this month will be posting five links to excerpts by other authors. My own is to a snippet from the work in progress you can see in my sidebar. I've picked 5 authors who all write similar genres with similar heat levels.

Kirsten Saell, Erotic Romance/Fantasy (NC-17)

Ella Drake Erotic Paranormal Romance (NC-17)

Ainslinn Kerry, Paramornal Romance (R)

Elise Logan, Paranormal/contemporary (R)

Vivienne Westlake, Historical Erotica (R)

Kate Willoughby Fantasy/Paranormal Erotic Romance (NC-17)

Want more? The Excerpt Monday site has a buttload of links to a ton of talented authors. Yay!

Happy Monday everyone!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy...yeah, whatever :)

Other than Blammo, my youngest, barging in on me in the middle of my morning pee because he couldn't wait to shout "Happy Mothers' Day!" and hand me my marigolds (awww...), today has been pretty much like any other Sunday.

When I asked the kids last night if they wanted to do anything special today, or did they want to go to their dad's like usual, Firstborn replied with a grin, "What better Mothers' Day gift than a few hours to yourself without your horrible children?" Always knew he was smarter than he looks.

Considering I had to work (the only time I've ever had the holiday off was when I was 7 1/2 months pregnant with Blammo, the baby who thought he was an elephant) and could therefore not plan anything special like pizza or dinner out or what have you, I agreed, a few hours alone in the house would be very nice.

Wanting to mark the occasion, I refused to do any chores at all today, other than a single load of laundry (needed a shirt for work) and a brief stop at the grocery store. Once I dropped the kids off at the boat, I turned into an amoeba and didn't move until 4:30 other than to periodically extend a pseudopod and engulf some food or coffee.

Work was tolerable--customers were extra generous, which is not surprising when you are served by a mother on what's supposed to be her special day. My boss made me a huge pile of ginger fried shredded beef for dinner, and when I got home the kids were back and getting along.

All in all, a good day. I've never been the sentimental type--I forget my own birthday half the time, and only make a big deal out of Christmas because it's an excuse to shop and eat turkey. A little time to myself, and a little time being a mother, that's cool with me. :)

Hope you all had a good day, whether that meant breakfast in bed or seafood brunch or dinner out or a plastic cup full of marigolds delivered to you mid-pee. It's all good. Happy Moms' Day!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Rumors of My Demise

...have been greatly exaggerated.

Yes, I know, it's been a week and a half since I last blogged, but you'll be pleased to know I haven't been killed, arrested or committed to a mental institution (not for lack of trying, though--three squares a day, all the valium you can eat, and no kids hollering at you? I'll take it!).

I've been spending the last while ignoring my backyard, despite several days of sun, but today I have vowed to cut the six or eight inches of winter growth off my lawn and maybe weed the front flower bed. I even bought gas for my lawn mower this morning as an act of good faith. I've also been fighting the bi-annual war of attrition with my walking hair factory. My new dog, George, may be less than half the size of the late, lamented Slip, but she generates fur like it's going out of style. Another week, and I'll have enough raw materials to build a whole new dog--better, stronger, faster than the old one, and hopefully quieter too.

I finally got my taxes filed, too. All right, I brought them to the magical tax lady, who also brews wine for me, and she did them for me. And due to the fact that I'm now making money off my writing, and can claim all kinds of expenses I'd never even thought I could claim, I'm getting money back. Not a lot, but considering the fact that had I done my own return this year I probably would have ended up owing, I'm overjoyed. Gotta love a woman who can conjure money out of thin air and keep you supplied in booze. :)

I've also been jumping in and getting all up close and personal in several online discussions of f/f love and eroticism in the romance genre, which, considering my WIP, is a subject that looms large in my mind at the moment. Last week, it seemed there was a new post every other day dealing with the issue, and in a rare departure from the norm, they've pretty much managed to maintain a civil and respectful tone with nary a "girl parts are icky" to be found. My blogging buddy, Leah, will be posting a link round-up on LVLM in the next day or two, including some cool posts from a year or two ago that anyone interested in female bisexuality and the fluidity of attraction and arousal might find useful.

I've also been plugging along with Lianon and Rhianna's story, adding 1000+ words/day. It's now sitting at almost the halfway point (unless I decide to up the final word count, which could very well happen, considering it's taken more than 17000 words just to get Lianon's hand up Rhianna's skirt. I know, for the queen of Page One Sex, this may seem unusual, but I think it works. At least I hope it does. Granted, there is sex before that--but it's not between the hero[ine] and the heroine).

I am, however, in a bit of a quandary regarding the title of this tome. The story, which involves Lianon leaving a fulfilling but fairly casual m/f relationship to pursue another woman, will end in her giving up the business of hired thuggery in favor of a more mundane lifestyle. Several titles have come to mind, but liberally laced with puntastic cheese and lame double entendres, they're right up there with Two Scabbards, One Sword (the cheesetacular working title of Bound by Steel).

Giving Up the Sword? Um, maybe not.

Sheathing the Sword? Yikes.

Sword and Satin? Blurgh.

Anyway, if any of you all have some ideas that don't involve thinly veiled phallic/vaginal symbolism, I'd be much obliged if you'd suggest them in the comments. :)

Thursday, April 16, 2009

A teeny update

First off, I'm in the midst of second round edits on Chancellor's Bride, and I've come to a shameful realization. I am addicted to adverbs. No, not the standard -ly adverbs that are the bane of so many writers' existence. Nope, I'm a slave to "up", "down", and "back". I also seem to have an unhealthy attachment to the word "so" in all its forms. Luckily, my editor Bethany is there with a huge vial of verbal methodone to help me kick the habit, and I think my writing is a lot stronger for her ruthless but fair application of the dreaded red pen.

Second, I just got the cover art comp for C'sB, and damn! I can't show you all until Crissy approves the final version, but holy crapweasels, it is smokin'! I can't gush enough about Mandy Roth AKA Natalie Winters, who also did the cover for Bound by Steel. That woman definitely knows sexy.

Third, I am currently kind of stymied concerning the tagline for the book--the one or two sentences that encapsulate the story. I hammered one out that wasn't precisely spectacular, and the blurb editor came back with a second option that I'm also not in love with. I mean, it's good, but I don't want to marry it or anything. Perhaps I should come up with a few possibilities and let you guys vote for which one you like best, or even make suggestions on how to improve it? I could make a contest out of it or something...

Lastly, I had a nice IM chat with Bethany last night, and was reminded yet again that she's the absolute best, most amazingly supportive editor evah!!!1! I honestly could not ask for anyone more enthusiastic about my work, and the fact that she's been willing to take chances on stuff other editors might not touch with a ten-foot pole just makes me feel so very fortunate to have her. And all I have to do to keep her happy is not kill off any small, furry animals. So I just want to give her a shout-out here: Bethany Morgan, you're my hero. :)

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Something Smells Rank

...and it's Amazon.

Well, proving once again that even the irresistible marketing force that is Amazon is prone to hubris and hypocrisy equal to any soulless government bureaucracy, Amazon's PTB have rejiggered their sales ranking system to exclude what it deems "adult content".

By Amazon's definition, "adult content" = books on parenting for gays and lesbians, YA fiction with sex or gay characters, erotica, GLBT romance (even the sweet variety), dozens of Aphrodisia and HQ Blaze novels (and mine, I would assume), and Lady Chatterly's Lover.

By Amazon's definition, "all-ages content" = Mein Kampf, books on dogfighting, Playboy: Wet and Wild Complete Collection, Playboy: The Complete Centerfolds, graphic novels depicting incest orgies, the memoirs of porn stars, and American Psycho.

Clearly, their first concern is the moral well-being of the children. We must think of the children!

Why is this a problem, you ask? Because Amazon's sales ranking system and search engine are symbiotic. Exclusion from the sales ranking means your book will not turn up on the search engine--or in those stupid emails they're still sending me (after buying ONE book from them) suggesting that because I bought Stacia Kane's Personal Demons, I might like every other urban fantasy ever written. It's the brick and mortar equivalent of a bookstore removing your book from the shelves and making readers go to customer service to request it by name.

It also means (oh, the irony) that when gay and lesbian parents looking for info on raising kids enter the keywords "homosexual" and "parenting" into the search engine, it will spit out A Parent’s Guide to Preventing Homosexuality.

I'd laugh if it wasn't so stupid.

But there are things that can be done. You can sign a petition here.

You can write a nasty email addressed to or phone them at 1-800-201-7575.

And the Smart Bitches have a cunning (and winningly bitchtastic) plan to mess with Amazon's Google presence. All you gotta do is stick this link: Amazon Rank somewhere conspicuous and encourage people to click on it. A lot. As the number of clicks increases, that post will creep up the Google ranking, and eventually, when people google Amazon Rank, they'll be directed first to the awesome new definition the SBs have come up with.

So, go on, have at them. Do your worst.