Welcome. This blog was started three years ago by four aspiring writers who are now three published authors of novels and short stories (Barbara Elsborg, Dawn Jackson, Arlene Webb) and one multiple award-winning writer (Laurie Green). We blog to keep readers updated on our new releases or other random topics. We hope you enjoy your stay. :] Coffee?

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Just in time for the holidays, a two-story anthology, featuring Under the Mistletoe by Arlene Webb, is available from Shadowfire Press.

Here's a brief blurb.  You can read more on the web site (link above).

Alek sighed, eyed the mistletoe above his head, and ignored the co-worker eyeing his backside. He suspected Loki didn't have a New Year's Eve date, and the silly stalker wouldn't accept the fact Alex wasn't interested. He stretched to his full potential and managed to pinch the tip of the dangling grey-green vine between his thumb and forefinger.

Wow. It felt hot. Interesting. He'd thought it was plastic, or at least long dead, but it was turgid. Short broad, smooth-edged evergreen leaves were paired along the woody stem and waxy white berries hung in dense clusters of ten or more, throughout the one foot strand.

He tugged and it fell from the chain, missed his head and caught round his shoulder.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Slipping the Past.

To be released January 11th, 2010.

Blind, homeless and on the run for crimes she committed before she was born, Jocelyn Miller is hunted by a reaper who's a living nightmare…or her greatest love.

“I’ve loved you from the moment I first kissed you.”
Jocelyn opened her mouth to say something nasty and snapped it shut. She reached up and touched his shoulder. “You loved me since you kissed me outside the convenience store?”
“No. I’ve loved you since I kissed you in the street, while soldiers marched by. I loved you as a Roman soldier, as a knight, as a farmer in Salem, a Confederate man fleeing across enemy lines and yes, I love you now as the man sworn to take you in. I’ve loved you from the beginning and I’ll love you to the very end. As I said before, having sex has nothing to do with this. Don’t challenge me, Jocelyn. You won’t win.”
“That’s playing dirty.”
“I don’t have time to play fair.”


Saturday, December 12, 2009

We have a winner.

Aries18 is the winner of the print copy of Dark nest.
Please email me your mailing address at dlareejackson(no space)1@gmail(dot)com
Thanks to all for participating in the SFR Holiday Blitz!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

The Cover.

Here's a nail-biter. Waiting for the cover to your novel. A good cover can boost sales and a bad cover, well, we've all seen what can happen.

Covers drive authors crazy. Some publishers give authors a lot of input, others give us no voice as to what it looks like. We obsess about it, fidget and worry. In the end, it's what we have the least control over and we either hit the lottery or we don't. Sometimes, even with input, the cover just doesn't fit the writer's vision.

But what happens when the artist is in tune with the author's vision? Covers like the one for my soon to be released futuristic romance with Liquid Silver Books, happen. I can't tell you how excited I was when I saw it.

I have to say, Liquid Silver Books is one of the best when it comes to asking for input. Even better, they listened to everything I said. I got my skyscrapers and my Roman Colosseum. And yes, the heroine has the right hair color, which might seem trivial, but trust me, it's not. It's beautiful. The artist did an amazing job and really captured the spirit of my story. The cover fits the mood better than I could have hoped for.

Stick around, I'll be unveiling it soon. Not yet, but soon. I promise.

Now it's time for a little gratuitous blurbage:

Some love affairs last a lifetime, others never end.

Jocelyn Miller is a fugitive. She’s, blind, homeless and was doomed to spiritual incarceration from the moment she drew her first breath. On the run since her eighteenth birthday, she’s somehow managed to stay one step ahead of the reapers. If she’s caught, she knows she’ll lose her soul, but what she doesn’t expect—is to lose her heart.

Innocent people don’t have warrants.

Or do they? Gabriel Solaris is an enforcer, a genetically enhanced psychic often referred to as a reaper for his ability to take souls, and he’s charged with collecting Jocelyn’s. When he finds Jocelyn outside the store, he’s sure she’s up to something illegal. Proving it isn’t necessary, he already has a warrant. But the closer Gabriel gets to Jocelyn, the more he begins to question his duty. Her claims of innocence have a ring of truth he can’t deny.

I loved you once.

Gabriel loses control and kisses her. Instead of taking her soul, he gives her a week to prove her innocence for past-life crimes. Now it isn’t only Jocelyn’s soul at stake. If she can’t prove her innocence, Gabriel will go down with her.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Take it to the Stars supports the Science Fiction Romance Holiday Blitz!

The holiday season upon us, and that means 2010 is simmering just below the horizon. Start your New Year off right with a chance to score a FREE read in one of the hottest up and coming genres around—Science Fiction Romance!

Here’s the scoop: 12 bloggers have teamed up with 17 authors for your chance to win over 30 SFR books. Whether you’re new to the genre, or a fan looking to add to her collection, this event is for you.

Best of all, it’s dead simple to enter: There are no quizzes to answer, no hoops to jump.

For your chance to win a print copy of Prism Award winner DARK NEST by Leanna Renee Hieber, all you have to do is leave a comment for this post. Print book prizes are limited to U.S. residents. The deadline to enter is midnight on Friday, December 11, 2009. The winner will be announced on Saturday, December 12, 2009.

But don’t stop here! Increase your chances of winning even more books by visiting all of the participating blogs.

It’s easy: Just click on one of the links to the participating bloggers below. Make sure to leave a comment on the post titled “SFR Holiday Blitz.” From there, you can then jump to the next blog. There’s a wide variety of books to win so why miss out?

Alien Romances
Dirty Sexy Books
Ella Drake
Enduring Romance
Flying Whale Productions
Lisa Paitz Spindler
Love Romance Passion
Spacefreighters Lounge
Take It To The Stars
The Galaxy Express
Queen of the Frozen North

Please drop by and check out our participating authors sites:

Ann Aguirre
Katherine Allred
Margaret L. Carter
Rowena Cherry
Ella Drake
Jess Granger
Susan Grant
Nathalie Gray
Leanna Renee Hieber
Claire Delacroix
Barbara Elsborg
Susan Kearney
Jacqueline Lichtenberg
Karin Shah
Linnea Sinclair
Susan Sizemore
Ann Somerville

Have fun and may the force, uh, may you be lucky--no? *scratches head*

Good luck, Skiffy Romers!

Count Down has Commenced.

In honor of the Holiday Science Fiction Romance Blitz, due to launch at eleven-hundred hours EST, I'm going to give the floor to the readers first. There will be a battalion of science fiction romance writers moving around the blitz blogs, some you might recognize, others may be new to you. Here's your chance Skiffy Rommers, to tell us what you want to see more of.

And don't forget to come back for launch and your chance to win a print copy of Dark Nest by Leanna Renee Hieber. (Print books are limited to U.S. residents only.)

Have you ever wanted to tell your favorite sci fi romance writer's what you'd like to see more of in their books?

Now's your chance.

Do you want more action and battle scenes with beefcake? Do you like your heroines to kick ass or do you want them to be a little more conventional? Star-ship, star-base or planet based stories? What kind of science do you want to see? What hooks you? What makes you search relentlessly for an author's next book or pre-order months in advance?

You've got our ear. Tell us? What do you want more of. Less of?

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Two Days = Four Five Star Reviews!

Barbara's STRANGERS had been released for all of two days when the 5 STAR reviews started pouring in on the Ellora's Cave website.  You can read them here:  Reviews of STRANGERS

Congratulations, Barbara.  Your fans are affirming what we already know (and have been shouting from the rooftops!)  :)

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Finally! It's Here!

Hands down the best contemporary romance/erotica I've ever read.  Kate Snow and Charlie Storm will make you laugh, cry, wonder, grieve and shout for joy.  This is a story you'll never forget.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


A great review of Barbara's DOING THE RIGHT THING (original version) is up on Romance Reviews today.  Check it out here.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

STRANGERS Soon to be Released!

It's been a long time coming, and now it's just a few days away! Barbara Elsborg's STRANGERS will be released by Ellora's Cave on December 2nd!

Of STRANGERS, the author says: "Well here it is. My favorite book. The book of which I am most proud. The book whose hero makes me laugh and cry. The best book I've written."

If you're familiar with Barbara's work, I think you know what an exceptional talent she is, and what a huge endorsement this is for her latest release.

Posted below is Barbara's cover for STRANGERS. Since beta-reading the novel well over a year ago, I've been anxious to see what sort of cover the book would get and it's perfect! (How often does that ever happen?) Yeah, definitely goes on my Killer Covers list. Here it is:

Knowing the characters as I do, the cover artist totally captured their essence and the dynamics of their relationship.

STRANGERS was the first novel of Barbara's that I ever read and the story blew me away. Barbara has a knack for redeeming unredeemable characters. Her male MC, Charlie Storm, begins as a very jaded, self-absorbed rock star-turned-motion picture icon who's on a self-destructive death spiral of "sex, drugs, and rock and roll. Now if that sounds cliche' then trust me that STRANGERS puts a fresh spin on it as well as having some wonderful touches of humor when Charlies connects with Kate (female MC), a woman also at the end of her rope but living a very different life. Through Kate, the reader discovers Charlie's warmth and tenderness buried beneath all those layers of hardened bad boy. But will Kate only become another victim of the runaway train wreck that is Charlie's life or can her love save him from himself?

Click on STRANGERS to read the opening scene and I think you'll see why you'll want to join these amazing characters on their journey. (Over 18 only please.)

Obviously I'm very exccited to see this one released so I can snag a copy...or six. Can't wait for Wednesday!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Last Flight of the Ark

My erotic science fiction romance, Last Flight of the Ark has just been accepted for publication with Liquid Silver Books. Check out the blurb below.

Evolution never happened so fast.

Twelve hours outside of Terra II, Colonel Kaleb Titan, a molecular geneticist and commander of the Ark, faces a life or death choice that could change the fate of mankind.

The Genesis I, AKA the Ark, has traveled for eight months with a hold full of wildlife and three crew members to keep her on course and operating. When a wolf bite and genetically-altering gamma radiation transform Colonel Titan, he notices his senses have been heightened and his libido has gone haywire. He can’t keep his hands off his crew and they don’t seem inclined to stop him.

When their sister ship, the Genesis II arrives early, Kaleb’s problems compound. If Earth Command learns of the infection, his ship will be quarantined and the crew will die in space. When the command crew of the Genesis II boards his ship, one whiff tells him they’re not who they appear to be. They might have flown the Genesis II to their location, but they’re not from earth and Kaleb suspects they want their planet and cargo.

When he discovers that they’ve kept the Genesis II’s crew of over two thousand alive, he begins to believe their reasons may be far more ominous than anyone could have imagined. However, he also discovers what’s holding them back. The hijackers seem to be allergic to canines.

Now, Captain Melissa Deluzio the pilot, Lieutenant Jessica Stearns a wildlife biologist, and Colonel Rivers are forced to employ biological warfare against their own people, but will it be enough to save them?

History is about to repeat and only one species will survive.


Tuesday, November 3, 2009

More Chops from Slipping the Past

Here are some more chops that didn't make it into the final copy.

Thirty two years before…
Gabriel clutched his mother’s leg. “No.”
“Let go.” His father pried him lose and handed him to the man standing in the doorway. Gabriel kicked and screamed. The man wrapped his arms around him, keeping him from flailing.
“I don’t want to go.” Frustrated and held tight, Gabriel did the only thing he could. He closed his eyes and let it build. The power rushed through him. He sucked from the lights and air. “No! I don’t want to go.” Bulbs exploded.
“Strong.” The man adjusted his hold, making it harder to for Gabriel to breathe and pull energy. “His talent won’t be wasted.”
“I told you he was special,” His father said. “He’ll do great things for our world.”
“Mommy.” He sank his teeth into the man’s shoulder. The man released his hold and dropped him. Gabriel scuttled toward his mother, who sobbed. She stepped forward. His father moved in front of her and caught Gabriel by the collar. He heaved him off his hands and knees and shoved him toward the strangers.
“You have no place here.”
“Lucian, let him come to me. You’re scaring him. I’ll take him to the transporter.”
“You’re making this harder. He was born for one purpose and he will serve that purpose. It’s done. I signed the papers, they own him. He needs to start learning to be a man and he can’t do that with you treating him like a baby.” His father pushed her back. Gabriel screamed and sank his teeth into the stranger again. The man didn’t release him, but grabbed his hair and yanked his head back.
Gabriel’s eyes watered. He stared at his father through the tears, pleading. They were mean. He could feel they didn’t care about him. Why was he letting them take him? “I want to stay. Please Daddy. I’ll be good.”
“I’m not your father anymore. You’re an Enforcer. You better get used to it.” He turned and walked through the door, shutting it behind him with a soft click.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Hot Dads: The DILF Anthology

Amazon.com: Hot Dads: The DILF Anthology (9781607778417): Lori Perkins: Books

Hot Dads, The DILF Anthology is out in print. Get your copy today and meet Derek James, the hottest dad in espionage, in my story Cloaks, Daggers and Diapers.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The Misfits - out today

The Misfits is out today with Loose-ID


It's not easy being a faerie. Holly would know. She's the laughing stock of Fae, useless at magic and has wings that never cooperate. She can't understand why a high-born faerie she hardly knows would want to marry her because she certainly doesn't want to marry him. The mortal world looks far more enticing.

Being a vampire bites. Crippled with guilt over his part in the death of his twin, Dominic is estranged from his family. When he rescues an injured werewolf on the run from his pack, he sees a kindred spirit in the damaged outcast.

What use is a werewolf who can't scent or track? Victim of his conniving brother, Jay is viciously attacked by his pack. The wolves might not want him but once he's living with Dominic, they won't leave him alone.

After a night of passion with Dominic and Jay, Holly's ready to move in with them. But their enemies are intent on keeping them apart and the trio of misfits find themselves in a fight for survival. If they can't figure a way through the web of lies and deceit that bind them, they'll lose more than their families. They'll lose each other.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Lucy in the Sky - out today 21st October

Lucy in the Sky
Barbara Elsborg

When you wake up to find a spaceship in your backyard, what do you do? Choose from three:
Phone the police.
Go yell at the alien for wrecking your garden.

Lucy storms out of her house to confront the inept pilot and the last option turns out to be both the right and wrong choice when she finds the gorgeous hunk’s name is Three. She’s torn between fury that he’s crushed her roses and decapitated her statue of Eros, and a longing that he enliven her boring life and whisk her to the stars. Three doesn’t give her a choice when he throws her over his broad shoulders and takes her into space. Lucy soon finds herself exploring alien territory in ways she never imagined.

Three’s efforts to hide and protect her on the mother ship are stymied by his inability to keep his hands—and other body parts—off the luscious Lucy, and it looks as if her immediate fate might be a solo trip into space without a spacesuit.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

She's on a roll!

Help me shout out a big congratulations to Take it to the Stars's very own, Laurie Green.

Laurie has done it again! *\0/* *\0/* *\0/*
It's just been announced that P2PC has swept the paranormal romance class of the RWA's Heart of the West writers contest with a first place win.

Way to go.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

What to cut, what to keep.

Rewrites can mean cuts. From words, to sentences, to whole paragraphs and even chapters. I've learned a lot from writing short stories and I've become a bit of a word-miser. As a result, I've noticed it's become harder to write a larger story. Here's a section that I chopped from my soon to be released novel, Slipping the Past.

“Where are we going?”
Jocelyn down shifted. She’d no idea. They’d been circling the neighborhood for the last hour. Since the enforcers didn’t drive, she wasn’t sure if they were still waiting for her at the house. She knew she could never go home, but she wasn’t ready to face that reality. Plus, she needed to drop Nate. She couldn’t drag him into this, regardless what her mother wanted but there was a problem leaving him home, he was her eyes. Without him, her mother’s transporter was worthless.
“I don’t know. I’m trying to think.”
“You’re wasting the charge in this vehicle. We need to put as much distance as we can between us and that reaper.”
“Stop, Nate. I’m trying to figure it out.”
“You’re not ditching me.”
Jocelyn groaned and rolled to a stop in front of the house. Nate looked away from it. “Nate, look at the house. I can’t see it.”
“No. We need to get out of here.”
“Damn it, Nate. Would you look at the house? I need to see.”
Nate snorted and stared at the pavement, refusing to give her what she wanted. Jocelyn watched through his eyes as the wind caught the leaves and sent them whirling across the road’s surface in a spiral dance. For once, she wished she could see with her own eyes, but it looked like she’d have to lower herself to begging.
“If we keep doing this, he’s going to come out that door and see us. Then we’re done.”
“I’m done. You’re not involved.”
“Says the woman who’s borrowing my eyes to sort of make her escape—if she’d actually leave the neighborhood.” Nate huffed and glanced at the front door. “Happy?”
Jocelyn put the vehicle in first and began to drive again.
Jake glanced at the door one more time. “Oh shit. You better get this thing going.” Ian stepped out onto the porch and locked onto them. Jocelyn slammed her foot to the floor.
“Eyes front, Nate!”
He snapped his head around and stared at the street. “Get us the fuck out of here, Jocelyn.”
The tires squealed and the transporter shot forward.
“They can’t teleport inside a moving vehicle. Don’t stop,” Nate glanced in the rearview mirror to see the reaper standing in the street behind them. “Left. Go left.”
The tires screeched as they took a corner. Nate checked the mirror. The reaper had teleported behind them again, watching their every move. She turned right, taking another side street. He teleported again, staying in the rear view mirror. He could follow them all night. Too bad they’d wasted most of the transporter’s charge circling the block.
“We have to get on the interstate. He can’t follow us that way.”
“I don’t think that will stop him.” Something about the reaper made the hair on her neck snap to attention. He’d come for her four hours early. He’d been anxious to get her soul and didn’t care if he broke the law to do it. Until midnight, she was still seventeen and untouchable, or she should have been untouchable. If he didn’t care about that, there was a good chance he wouldn’t care if Nate got hurt during the capture, or worse.
“We might be able to ditch him in traffic. Get to the interstate and we’ll take a side exit. There’s no way he can predict our next move. He can keep popping behind us on these side streets. The interstate won’t be as easy.”
“Fasten your safety harness and keep your eyes on the road.”
Nate complied and eyed the sign ahead. “Oh shit. You can’t do that.”
“Just watch me.” Jocelyn shot down a one-way street the wrong way and onto an off-ramp. She’d have to take a chance. Only a crazy man would follow her wrong-way onto an interstate. Hell, she was crazy to even contemplate it. Bright lights beamed at her and a horn wailed. Jocelyn swerved around the transporter and shifted into a higher gear. She moved to the shoulder and weaved around two more oncoming transporters. She couldn’t get onto the correct side with the concrete dividers between. They’d have to ride this out for a mile or two until they hit the open and she could get across the median.
“Jocelyn! Look out!”
Jocelyn had seconds to register the reaper standing in front of her, backlit by the lights of a freighter truck. “Oh shit!” She down shifted and swerved. It wasn’t enough. She missed the reaper and truck but hit the divider doing at least eighty miles per hour. Her head smashed into the steering wheel before her restraints locked down and yanked her back.
Everything began to reel along in slow motion. Their transporter spun and flipped. Airborne, it spiraled across four lanes of traffic and hit the barrier on the other side. Metal screeched and sparks left a tail behind them like a comet as the vehicle slid across the pavement on the driver’s side.
Then, everything went dark as Nate blacked out.
“Oh God, Nate.” Pain wracked her ribcage where the harness had caught and her forehead felt smashed. “Nate.” Jocelyn dared to open her eyes and look. The light from other vehicles stabbed through the back of her skull. She ignored the pain and examined Nate. His chest rose and fell. She took a deep breath. He was alive, but how badly hurt? She slammed her eyes shut, unable to take anymore. They were trapped. Where was the reaper?
Jocelyn released the catch on her belt and reached for Nate. She shook his arm. “Wake up. We’ve got to get out of here before we have company.”
Nate groaned.
“Nate. You’ve got to wake up.”
Boots crunched on broken glass and her stomach lurched.
“Jocelyn Miller. I have a warrant for your arrest.”

Go here for updates on the release of Slipping the Past:

Visit next Thursday for more excerpts from the cutting room floor.


Friday, October 2, 2009

Yippeeeeeee!!!!! Arlene's book is now available!!!!


Love Grows Wild in the Dark by Arlene Webb

Heat Rating: From Just a Spark to Warm shading toward Fire.

Content Warning: None

Single Author Anthology.

In Lieu of Flowers
Tormented by flowers, stalked by non-existent fiends, will a youth with an overactive imagination ever find happiness?

Hate my mom. Hate my life. Hate my mom.... The words looped in my mind, a mantra of misery. Top of the food chain, a nineteen year old Caucasian male, and here I was thrown back into reliving high school years. Surprised the old bat hadn't made me skip grade school to help for holidays. Come home from the intern gig for one lousy weekend, and it's Joel to the rescue--again.

"The cooler needs restocking. Red carns, alstro, delphiniums. There's another pack of pink roses in the back that aren't done yet."

"Yeah, yeah." I flipped my knife to a path parallel to the stem contaminating my other hand and pointed upward, my elbow braced for liftoff. "If I stab my eye out, can I leave?"

Mom burst out laughing. One thing about the woman, she did appreciate my sarcasm. But I seriously doubted she understood how deranged I was. I loathed flowers, almost as much as I hated running into dolts from my past.

Brad frickin' Norris. The vision of splattering crimson, the clank of enamel teeth hitting the sidewalk orchestrated with the lovely sonata of his girlish sobs and deep grunts begging for mercy--I sighed, my fantasy concerning punching Norris in the face had encouraged me to strip every thorn, and then some, off the rose in my hand.

"Maybe you should check the availability of Braille keyboards first." Mom slapped the final touches on yet another arrangement I'd have to cart across the street. Fingers moving in a blur, she peered up at me. "Forget the roses and take this. Careful. It's pricey, and I'll see you at home, kay? Honestly, son, I'll lose it if you drop that one."

Can an untamed lover distract from the desire to bring down the human race?

It hurts, having your head cut off. I don't care how lovingly the man crooned as he snapped me between his thick fingers. Pain ricocheted through my vascular system. With every fiber of my being, I hoped my fluid burned his fingers.

"Bastard human." My loud curse started a ripple from my cringing little ones. Heads bent in submission, they gulped their distress, murmuring soothing words to no avail. In a matter of hours I'd be sealed, callous formed, on my way to splintering into more suckers for the bipods to torture. I shook, using all my strength to turn from my loving offspring trying to raise their disfigured faces to the light. The devil had pinched them too.

Time to concentrate on settling the score between Plantae and Mammalia. The book lay at my base. I bent my mutilated crown, covered the page, and continued reading where I left off before the monster had stomped in on two horrid legs to mess with me.

When darkness soothed my injuries, blackness cloaked my hungry mind, and I swore again. Not happy with twisting me almost dead, forcing me to branch into a form they found ëpretty', lights went out at sundown like I was a simple seedling.

I snickered. Stupid human still hadn't found his bible. Soon, I'd have opportunity to take down his fascist regime.

"Mommy, why does he keep doing this?" my youngest whispered.

"Shh, my love. Someday you'll become so perfect the cruel man will stop." I didn't elaborate. No little sprout wanted to learn about hell day, and I didn't want to upset my offspring this vengeful night. I'd keep them in the dark as long as I could. "Sleep now. Dawn will break, it always does. And I promise you, we'll have a new light for breakfast--soon."

Circle in the Sand
Fallen angels, a handsome blue-eyed officer... How can a female geek concentrate?

I never thought it'd be so annoying being the lackey for a narcissist serial killer, but the angel rising from his chair had me gnashing enamel.

"You lost your marbles?" V growled. Like a trench coat around him, his dark hair flowed past his knees.

"Yes." Despite telling him that six times already, I didn't dare flip him my human backside and skedaddle before he dismissed me. The last thing I wanted was to squirm beneath a fallen one, his fist down my throat. His eyebrows snapping into killer angles encouraged me to elaborate. "Without my balls I can't blast brains to pulp. Searching the office, that's all I was doing."

"Balls? You sure look double X to me." He snorted, jerking his gaze from my chest. "Cease demoralizing your co-workers. Playing the ëI'm nuts card' won't negate a contract. If I don't make tomorrow's headlines, Rissa, my love, I'll hunt for lost items in places the sun doesn't shine. Get back to work."

My heart regained its beat as V stopped shaking feathers everywhere and his hands unclenched. It'd be easier to scope that red dot without my eyes swollen shut. I traded my urge to curtsey for a nod and retreated. It'd serve our molting slave master right if I did spread loss of mojo through his minions. With three women including me and five men dysfunctional thanks to the willies, the big oaf would have to do his own retribution. Unfortunately, the angel had me by the short hairs. I'd signed in blood. Two more foreheads to go, a total of seven bodies and he'd leave me and mine alone.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Review: The Power of Love

Just wanted to mention there's a great review of Barbara's POWER OF LOVE up on BittenbyBooks blog.

You can find the link to POWER OF LOVE at right.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Do the Right Thing....

...and don' t miss this novel! To be released this Thursday from Cerridwen Press, DOING THE RIGHT THING is an amazing story of love, loss and heart-breaking decisions that will leave you wanting more. (Never fear! A fantastic sequel is in the works!!!)

Barbara has a rare talent for creating a terrific blend of humor and tragedy that puts the reader right into the front seat of an unforgetable romantic joyride.

Words of praise for DOING THE RIGHT THING:

"Addie is a kind, quick-witted, survivor-of-a-mom-from-hell in an impossible love triangular with a twist. In a quest for her mother's approval, she meets Mr. Perfect—tall, dark and handsome Will, a man who only wants to do the right thing, but finds trying to do right by everyone only leads to a terrible wrong.

When Will steps into Addie's life, so does Ed, a serial playboy with an electric smile and a heart of gold who is there to catch Addie every time Will lets her down. The clincher? They're brothers. These three flawed, funny characters make for a story that runs the gauntlet between hilarious and heart-breaking.

An addicting Contemporary Romance. Five big shiny stars...and then some."

Sunday, September 20, 2009

We have a Winner

All hands on deck!

Take it to the Stars's very own Laurie Green has just placed first in the Southwest Writer's Contest with her science fiction romance P2PC.

Here's the link: http://www.southwestwriters.com/swwcontestwinners09.php

I'm sure this is only the beginning of this amazing novel's voyage.


Saturday, September 12, 2009

Slipping the Past.

Some love affairs last a lifetime, others never end.

Jocelyn Miller is a fugitive. She’s, blind, homeless and was doomed to spiritual incarceration from the moment she drew her first breath. On the run since her eighteenth birthday, she’s somehow managed to stay one step ahead of the reapers. If she’s caught, she knows she’ll lose her soul, but what she doesn’t expect—is to lose her heart.

Innocent people don’t have warrants.

Or do they? Gabriel Solaris is an enforcer, a genetically enhanced psychic often referred to as a reaper for his ability to take souls, and he’s charged with collecting Jocelyn’s. When he finds Jocelyn outside the store, he’s sure she’s up to something illegal. Proving it isn’t necessary, he already has a warrant. But the closer Gabriel gets to Jocelyn, the more he begins to question his duty. Her claims of innocence have a ring of truth he can’t deny.

I loved you once.

Gabriel loses control and kisses her. Instead of taking her soul, he gives her a week to prove her innocence for past-life crimes. Now it isn’t only Jocelyn’s soul at stake. If she can’t prove her innocence, Gabriel will go down with her.

Liquid Silver has posted a notice of my book's upcoming release on their public page. There's an excerpt. No cover yet, but they'll post it there as soon as it's done.


Sunday, September 6, 2009

Doing the right thing - coming soon!

Doing the Right Thing
Barbara Elsborg - available from Cerridwen Press 24th Sept

Addie Winter is single—just one more reason for disappointment in her permanently disapproving mother’s eyes. There’s nothing she wants more than to be loved but when her own mother can’t bring herself to love her, she wonders if anyone can. What she needs is a man—real would be ideal, but she’ll settle for pretend. Anything to shut her mother up.

Will Mansell chokes on his drink when Addie offers to pay him to spend the night in her room. Tall, dark-haired and the epitome of Addie’s “hero”, he can’t believe his luck because women usually go for his blond-haired brother. Ed Mansell is a serial playboy with an electric smile who waltzes through life and through women. Lucky for Will and Ed they don’t have the same taste in women. But that was before they met Addie.

Far from pretending, Will and Ed set out to prove Addie wrong. But after having no one who loves her, Addie finds too much love can be just as painful as no love at all.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Guess what!!!!!!

One of us has just had fantastic news. Brilliant. Wonderful. Exciting. It's our very own Laurie Green whose great sci fi romance P2PC has finalled in two - yes two - contests. Hip hip hooray for Laurie.

In the SWW Science Fiction category

the link: http://www.southwestwriters.com/swwcontestwinners09.php

and in the Heart of the West - competition. No link for that yet. To be added later.

Laurie will hopefully be attending both banquets in September and October when they announce the winners - but she's already a winner with us!!

HUGE congrats, Laurie

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

What's in a name?

I wonder what readers think of the names we pick for our heros and heroines. Does it put them off the story if they don't have names that give them the right feeling? I would never not read a book because I didn't like the name the author had chosen but the time I spend finding the right ones for my characters - you'd think I was studying brain surgery.
My heroines are Kate (more than once) Katya ( ooh is that a bit like Kate/) Chloe, Addie, Holly, Susie, Polly, Lucy, Daisy, Erin ( a different sound there), Jo (and again), Flick and Imo - to name but a few. I obviously like the 'ly' sound at the end of the name. In fact both my kids have names that end this way.
My heros - Charlie (arggh - slipping into it with the guys), Ethan, Nathan, Christian (all ending the same!), Dominic, Jay, Jax, Jack, Three, Beck, Will, Ed, Alek, Aleksei, Felix, Adrian, Jake and so on.
I can see a pattern. The men's names are mostly short and hard sounding, the women's have two syllables and are softer.
Getting the name right is absolutely essential to me. I can't write unless I've settled on the right moniker.I've even picked my next two with no story in mind. Keir and Faryn - well maybe not for the same story as they're both unusual but I'm definitely using them somewhere.
So - I'm interested in what readers think of names - do they care what the characters are called? After all the angst we go through in choosing the right names - I have a feeling it matters far more to the writer than the reader.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Free read on Ellora's Cave!!!

The Bad Widow - is available as a free read on Ellora's Cave from today. It's an erotic historical comedy - Salem witch trials era.


The Bad Widow

Rose Thorne doesn’t want much. She’d like a man to love and for village idiots to stop claiming she’s a witch. Just because she does a little magic doesn’t mean they need to burn her at the stake. It takes ages to get the smell of smoke out of her hair. On her way home after foraging for mushrooms, she’s assaulted by two local lechers. Her rescuer appears out of the mist—a tall, dark, handsome stranger with a mouth-watering body. Finally something in her miserable life is going right. Furthermore, her savior turns out to be mute, so he can’t ruin things by saying something stupid.

Can life get any better?

Friday, June 26, 2009

Play that again?

What makes you read a book twice? Do you ever??
I keep many of the books that I read. If I've enjoyed them, I don't want to let them go, though I have to admit I keep less and less these days but I suppose I keep them thinking that one day, I'd read them again. Generally I don't like to read things twice - I like a surprise- though with my memory I can get half way through sometimes before I realize I've read it a few months or years earlier. Oops. I even got stroppy with one poor author (only mentally) because I thought she'd pinched someone's idea and then I realized I'd read the damn book before.
But to deliberately choose to read a book twice - why would I do it?
Sometimes because I read it too fast to take in all the twists and turns. Maybe I'd read again because the book made me laugh - Jenny Crusie is the one for me.
Or I want a comfort read - Susan Elizabeth Phillips hits the spot. Re-reading thrillers or suspense stories seems of less interest. I might have loved them the first time around but if I already know the plot - I can't bring myself to read it again. Of course - according to my current husband - if I read them thoroughly in the first place, I wouldn't need to reread anything.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Another Great Review.

The DILF Anthology has done it again. Another great review for Cloaks, Daggers and Diapers. Go here to check it out.


Saturday, May 30, 2009

Clone Chapter 1 Part 2

I’m not sure how I made it across the border; through the one mile strip called no-man’s land. Everywhere the Earth was scorched and the ground littered with the remains of would be defectors. Bits and pieces of bone and flesh were strewn about. Hair flapped in the breeze like a banner, still attached to a scalp and stuck to a mummified mass that could only have been human once.

Rats and carrion birds ripped at fresh and not-so-fresh corpses. They hopped and scurried about, growing fat from the feast. The paid me little mind, their bellies too full to give a second glance. It was the one place between myself and freedom, but less frightening than where I’d been. Somehow, I navigated the hazards.

Now I huddled on a cot in a six by six cell, shivering from the cold. I hugged my arms to my body and rubbed. Darkness wrapped around me, but I could still see my breath. It danced in the inkiness like a ghost. I blew out again, watching the vapors twist and shift. For a while, it entertained me, but soon, I grew bored and restless. Had I escaped only to become prisoner again?

Before I could dwell longer on my situation, the door cracked open and light poured in. I sat up and dropped my feet to the floor. A woman walked through, followed by a tall man. I couldn’t see them well with the backlighting. I smiled.

They couldn’t do anything that hadn’t been done to me before. I’d escaped once. I could do it again. I braced myself for an attack, gripping the bunk so tight my hands went numb. I’d kill them. I’d found my free will and nobody would take that from me again.

“God, she looks just like her.” A man’s deep voice. He stepped forward and the lights came on. I threw my arm across my eyes to block the sharp stabbing pains.

“Do you think it’s the clone that killed the doctors and nurse over in Europia?” the woman asked.
“If it is, it’s our lucky day.” He walked up to the bars and wrapped his fingers around them, leaning in. “What do you say? Are you the clone they’re looking for?”

I stared into his eyes. A brave thing to look a human in the face. I didn’t care. I’d earned my freedom. I shifted my gaze to the floor, keeping my mouth shut. Would they kill me? Was it safe to talk?

“Are you the clone responsible?” His voice took on a demanding edge.

“Yes.” Rule number three was so ingrained I couldn’t stop. “I am.”

The man whistled under his breath. “Because of you, Europia is locking down. They’re afraid of a clone rebellion.” He chuckled. “Serves them right if you all turn on them.”

“I want to live,” I said.

“And you shall.” His words contained a tone of kindness. Something I’d only heard exchanged among the keepers, among families. I raised my gaze to his, wanting to get closer, wrap myself in his kind voice, revel in it, saturate my soul and feed the hunger for contact. He pulled a set of keys from his pocket and they jingled as he unlocked my cell. “Come with me.”

“Who are you?” His face was not what I expected. No hate, no anger or revulsion. Strong features that studied me, held my gaze without judgment. My heart jumped. He was different, this human.

“Dante. I’m a friend.”

Mind manipulation was a very real thing. A person could be twisted to become whoever they wanted you to be; given memories that were not their own. It was like a data download to the brain and often resulted in bouts of violence from the one who received the treatment. It had been the cause of murders and various other crimes and for that reason it was illegal on both sides of the planet.

I just learned to speak four languages fluently and received my doctorate in psychology.
I stared at my hands and they shook. I could tell you the rush of emotions is unlike anything you would expect, but living it is the only way to truly know.

Even now I battled the strange feelings. I knew what chocolate tasted like even though I’d never had it. Still, I could taste it in my mouth and my brain told me I had.

I studied Dante. He stood by the door to my new room. His arms were crossed and he hadn’t blinked in the last five minutes. Not once. The woman had left, but he remained, observing me in silence.

“Do you have any chocolate?” I needed to know. The demon memories in my head morphed larger, demanding it.

Dante reached into his pocket and pulled out a foil wrapped bar, holding it out.
Tremors rumbled through me. I eyed it. Waiting. Should I take it? I shifted my gaze to Dante who nodded.

I unfolded from where I sat and jumped up to snatch it from his hands and shred the wrapper. A sweet smell wafted up. My mouth watered. I ran it under my nose, inhaling, taking in the flavor I was certain it possessed. Sweet, earthy, I popped it in. It sat on my tongue melting. Yes. I laughed out and slid another piece between my lips.

I closed my eyes and let it dissolve, the sweet and bitter mingled in my mouth. A strange buzz came over me. My stomach fluttered and a tightening in my pelvis nearly took my breath. More emotions surged through me, sending my heart pounding frantically as it tried to keep up with them. I wasn’t sure of these strange feelings. I wasn’t prepared to open my eyes and find him still there.


My heart skipped and another wave washed over me. His eyes were bottle green, like wet glass. Deep. Intelligent. The look they contained—my belly fluttered again.

I exhaled slowly and felt my lower body clench and knot. More emotions. I bit the inside of my cheek and tasted blood. A sharp stabbing in my brain took my breath. Then just as quickly it was replaced with warmth.

I could barely draw a breath. I’d been denied feelings for so long, I couldn’t control them. I let my gaze slip back to Dante’s face. Right then—I felt–needful. I dropped the chocolate to the floor. He smiled and stepped into the room, kicking the door shut behind him.

“I…” Liquid heat pooled through my body, washing through me like lava. I could smell him, so intense the need. “I…” I grabbed his shirt and shoved him against the wall, ripping the front.


“Yes,” he said.

I didn’t know him, only his name, but I wanted him. I wanted him bad.

He bent his head to kiss me, his lips felt both soft and hard. I reached up and grasped his hair, clenching tight to hold him to me. Some from fear he’d break contact, most because of the hunger, the overwhelming high of… My heart cart wheeled.

“Please,” I broke from the kiss and whispered in his ear. I ground against him, rubbing like a cat in heat, needing to climb on him, in him, merge, meld and feed the need that pulsed through my body.

Closer. I hooked his belt loops and yanked him against my hips.
The taste of chocolate still teased my mouth. Combined with the taste of him… I groaned and reached for the front of his pants, driven past primal instinct.

Needing, wanting, taking.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

New Release from Barbara

Barbara's next novel, THE POWER OF LOVE, was released today by Ellora's Cave. Click on the image of the book cover to the right for a link to see the description and an excerpt (adults only website).

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Some more.

Laurie will probably recognize this one. She's got the original.


During an author's chat today, we talked about art. I mentioned that I'm an artist. So as requested, I'll post some of my work. Most of this is pen and ink. My paintings are not digitized.

The mustang colt is watercolor pencil and Bic pen.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Dawn @ Savannah Chase's Blog

Dawn is the featured guest on Savannah Chase's blog today. You can read what she has to say about quickies...er, that is short stories...here.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Clone Chapter 1, Part 1

Chapter 1

The cold from the steel table numbed my flesh. A stiffness settled in, leaching through my bones, making them ache to the marrow. I shivered and turned my head, watching while they worked. Precise, efficient, all without pause. They’d taken from me before and my body testified of their treatment, displaying scars and healing wounds like a topographical map.

The clanking of metal instruments echoed in the sterile environment, driving home how alone I really was, not that I had allusions of anything but.

The windowless room, surrounded by concrete blocks and frozen white was nothing short of a morgue, except I wasn’t dead.

Not yet.

They’d strapped an oxygen mask over my face. The gas burned my eyes, nose and mouth. The plastic visor fogged, but not enough that I couldn’t see what they were about to do and it didn’t matter. I couldn’t stop them.

I didn’t dare say anything. They could and would hurt me for one word. I tugged on the straps, all limbs secured except one. Tubes ran into that leg. They were filled with blood and fluid, all to keep my organs fresh. The liquid felt like ice where it entered my body and my leg turned blue in that spot.

So this was it. My life was to end, to save her child?

I balled my up my fists and took a deep breath, trying to think of anything but my fate. My eyes teared up from the concentrated oxygen, but maybe they teared up some because I didn’t want to die. I wanted to scream that I was human. I wanted to cry, but what would I cry for? They wouldn’t hear me. They wouldn’t care. So I watched and let rebellion seed.

The nurse set a bottle of liquid down on a wheeled stand near my feet. I unclenched my fists and felt the blood rush back to my fingers, then twisted my wrists in the restraints again. My heart jumped and I wiggled my wrist some more. They—my keepers, had been careless. An inch, perhaps more. It was enough.

I glanced at the bottle of liquid again. The soft murmur of voices filled the small room as the medical staff discussed my procedure. They didn’t bother to whisper as they discussed how they’d carve me up.

My heart, they’d take that first. My other organs could be frozen in a cyro-cell for use later. I turned to stare at them. A doctor caught my gaze and ceased talking. He nudged another beside him and the man yanked the curtain closed around my bed. The conversation continued.

The voices stopped, the clanking of tools ceased and they drew the curtain open again. A nurse with pasty skin and lipstick so red it could’ve been blood, checked my vitals on a monitor next to the bed. She offered no smile or apology for what they were about to do, instead she turned her back to retrieve more instruments and snatched up the bottle, sticking needle in the top. She glanced over her shoulder, drew liquid into the syringe and placed it on the tray by my feet. Her eyes lifted to one of the surgeons and she reached for a tube attached to my body.

“Should I start the anesthesia?”

“No. We’ll remove it while she’s awake. Take no chances the heart will be damaged. The child is prepped and waiting upstairs. I’ll work quickly.” He picked up a large scalpel. It gleamed at me as if it anticipated the taste of my flesh. This was the part I hated, the first sharp sting of pain. This time there wouldn’t be a dull ache to follow, keeping me awake for nights. The thought that I wouldn’t feel it frightened me more than the pain.

The nurse eyed the syringe. “That’s inhumane.”

“Inhumane is making that child wait for her heart. She could die.”

“Yes, doctor.” She grabbed a sponge soaked with iodine, scrubbed my chest and spread a clear film over my torso, wrapping me like a butcher’s meat package.

Condensation ran down the inside of my mask, clearing a path for my vision. I stared at the cart near my feet. Sadistic objects, all for killing, all for taking my life to give it to another. I shivered as the doctor studied my chest, certainly contemplating the best approach.

They’d no right. I couldn’t bear to watch, my eyes flitted to the cart again. There it sat, a simple glass container. I couldn’t read, so I didn’t know what it was. The words were foreign marks, patterns, and designs. If I should fight, now was the time. I shouldn’t go peacefully, but fight for my last breath, break the codes and disobey every law. Death would not come quietly, but with rage. For once in my life, I was determined to feel something other than fear.

My jaw clenched and I ground my teeth. I didn’t care what was in the bottle. My impending demise freed courage and strength I didn’t know I possessed. I focused all my will and thrashed out with my leg, kicking the bottle off the stand.

The nurse spun around, her eyes widened. A silent no formed on her lips. The scene ticked by in slow motion and seemed curious to watch. She dived for the bottle, missing it by inches. It shattered on the floor. Bits of glass and liquid bounced up, catching the light and glittering like fragmented jewels. Gas swirled around, reacting to the open air. A cloud rolled across the floor, spreading to blanket the tile surface. She slapped her hands over her face, dragging her fingers across her scarlet lips while she screamed, clawed, and smeared the scarlet all over her face.
Then silence. The sound of her screams and the air in her lungs had been stolen. I craned my neck to look. She’d gone motionless. Her eyes were popped wide, staring at the ceiling and broken vessels painted them as red as her lips. Dead perhaps?

I cared not.

A hissing sound filled the room as the gas rose. Bodies dropped to the floor. My would-be killers, thrashed, screamed and gasped like beached eels. One doctor turned to me, his mouth opened and closed as he tried to draw air. His arm extended and his fingers stretched. A plea for help covered his face. I shook my head as the light in his eyes faded.

His arm fell at the same time his chest stopped. A fitting end for a man who thought to harvest my organ’s while I lay awake.

A drop of condensation plopped down on my nose and tickled the surface as it raced for the tip. Giggles bubbled past my lips. I wiggled my hand out of the loose cuff with some difficulty, scraping on the strap and leaving some of my flesh behind. In a matter of moments, I unbuckled the other cuff and sat up to undo my ankle.

Looking down, I saw the tubes, attached like leeches to my leg. I grabbed the strands of loose spaghetti, closed my eyes and yanked.

Sharp stings, pain, all welcome feelings. Every sensation, every moment seemed a gift. I watched the blood trickle from the holes. From the ends of the tubes dangled silver needles, several inches long. All beautiful. My fingers opened and I watched the tubes roll out of my hand and fall to the floor with a wet plop.

The nurse appeared to be about my size, maybe a bit bigger. I stripped the clothes from her corpse and slipped into the unfamiliar garments, pulling her lab coat on after. They cloth was soft on my skin. A luxury I’d never experienced.

I looked up at a disc shaped mirror attached to the wall, and barely recognized myself. For all intents and purposes, I looked like them, a white-coated reaper.

Except for my chip.

I cocked my head to the side and saw it pulsing and cupped my hand over my cheek. Blue light blinked through my flesh, illuminating my tendons, vessels and outlining the bones. It would be hard to hide. Perhaps the coat was too obvious? I glanced around for my clothes and found them discarded in the rubbish. With deep regret, I changed. To escape I would leave wearing what I came with.

As a clone.


I made a choice that day. Giddiness spread over me as I realized I truly was free. The shock belt had been removed for surgery and with it, any control anyone had over me. I could make decisions, govern my life and I had a will of my own. So I made another choice.

I ran.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

My First Reviews.

I just learned Coffee Time did a review of my story Why'd it Have to be Shorts?, in the Men in Shorts Anthology and was thrilled to learn overall we got a four cup rating. Why'd it Have to be Shorts will also, in the near future, be published as a stand-alone short at Ravenous Romance. You can down load these babies to your cell phone for a little lunch time read and they won't break the bank.

Here's the link to the review:


I also received a wonderful review from Sarah, over on her blog The Love Struck Novice for my short Cloaks, Daggers and Diapers, in the Hot Dads/DILF Anthology.

Here's the link to the review on Sarah's blog:

Thanks to both for the fantastic reviews.


Wednesday, April 22, 2009


Okay, I've a freebie novella. It's futuristic fable of the evils of mankind and what happens when man plays God. A tragedy that offers both love and loss. I'll be posting a little at a time.


God created life, scientists—clones, society—monsters. I’m not going to tell you I believe in God, but I will tell you this, I had a soul. I wasn’t an empty shell. I hated, I cried. There were things that drove me, things that made me—human.

Our society said that we haven’t a soul. Clones were created in a Petri dish. Because we haven’t souls, we haven’t rights.

I’ve never had belongings. I wore the standard uniform of a clone as all the others of my kind. Coarse, woven brown pants and a shirt, nothing that stood out, nothing that made me unique or an individual. No identity to call my own from the moment of my creation. I’ve no friends, no family. I can’t read or write. Society didn’t waste education on my kind. We were a product of science.




I’d been placed in confinement when not working and forbidden to talk to anyone.

Speak only when spoken to—rule number three. No clone shall make eye contact or touch a human. That was rule number two. Many rules governed our behavior and were beaten into our conscious from childhood.

Rule number one—Clones are the property of their human keeper. They’re bred for the purpose of health and welfare. No clone should assume they’re human.

I’m number 121232 and I’m human.

In the year 2027, a great war erupted upon the face of the planet. Weapons of mass destruction were employed and two-thirds of the world’s population met with destruction.

Radioactive fallout resulted in a nuclear winter, leaving the residents of Earth with a condition called the fever. If you survived it, you ended up sterile or unable to carry a child to term.

Desperate to avoid extinction, the human race turned to cloning. It was something that started with a sheep named Dolly, many years ago, then a mammoth dug out of the Arctic tundra. Before long the most brilliant minds of the world turned to Homo Sapiens.

Clones were fresh bodies, not damaged from the fallout, and could reproduce offspring, who in turn, could create more children. These children became known as breeders.

Once able to reproduce on their own, the children turned on the clones that saved them from annihilation.


We were considered unnatural and soulless—rounded up and micro tagged. The government of Europia gathered us like cattle. Many ended up in work camps and concentration centers, where their organs were harvested to help the sick from the Great War. Though, most of the clones were destroyed during the harvest, a few survived and crossed the borders to find asylum.

In the United Regions, clones were accepted and treated as humans. The U.R was a safe haven for all those who found themselves a minority in Europia. The handicapped, mentally ill, gays and lesbians—all who'd been tagged and monitored before the Great War, sought refuge there.

Realizing that the market for human organs was a profitable business, the Europian government once again began to produce clones. They served not only that purpose, but also that of slaves. Europians could create as many as they could afford to maintain.
Supply and demand, the industry boomed.

Since society perceived it unethical to treat humans in such a fashion, the Europian government created a code of laws called the Clone Codex, which stated that a clone was indeed not human, nor was it with a soul.

This legislation first came into being with the human abortion laws, where embryos were said not to have a soul, so that abortion was not murder. Since clones started life in a lab, they fell under the same definition and legal loophole.

As the years passed, clones continued to be created and the planet became divided on the treatment of our species. In Europia we were treated as livestock, worked as slaves and were put down when we took ill. Society raised their children to believe we weren't human, but a product to be used as they saw fit.

My keeper was high up in politics. Her husband was President of Europia. I'd often heard the humans whisper that even though he carries the title, she's the true governing force behind our country. My keeper controlled the world, or our half of it.

Though I looked just like her, shared the same DNA, sounded like her…I knew her not.

All my life I had wanted what she had—children, a family, and a place in society. But people took one look at the glowing blue chip pulsing in my cheek, and I was shoved aside like garbage. I'd never have what she had.

A life.

A family.


Sunday, April 12, 2009

Book Review: The Trouble With Demons

By Lisa Shearin
Ace Books
Release date: April 28, 2009
(Available for pre-order)

OPENING NOTES FROM THE REVIEWER: I think I may have let out a little squeeee (no witnesses, thank goodness) when I opened a package from Penguin Group this week and discovered—you guessed it—an ARC of THE TROUBLE WITH DEMONS inside. I lost no time jumping into the first chapter and being swept up in Raines’ continuing saga. If you’ve read my reviews before, you know I try to avoid spoilers. Knowing what’s going to happen takes the surprise and spontaneity out of the journey. And this novel has surprises, spontaneity and twists aplenty. I found THE TROUBLE WITH DEMONS slightly darker than the first two books in the series, MAGIC LOST, TROUBLE FOUND and ARMED & MAGICAL but no less unpredictable. The heroine has established a pension for doing the unexpected in the earlier books, and she certainly didn’t disappoint in this new tale of magic and mayhem.

Raine—no stranger to trouble, she—continues her penchant for getting into the most dangerous, impossible situations. There’s plenty of action, conflict, supernatural entities, epic battles, but woven into and through the adventure is Raine’s intensifying bond with, and heart-wrenching struggle over, both men who have infiltrated her life, Mychael and Tam. More on that later. On to the elements…

COVER ART: This is my favorite covers of the series, so far. The font has lost its little sparkly twinkles which makes it a bit less busy, and the use of vivid color and mythic backdrop suggests the novel’s tone. The depiction of Raine with knives drawn and “armed for ogre,” seems to capture the spitfire nature of the character I call Calamity Raine. I would still love to get a glimpse of her leading men on a future cover. Or are they best left to my imagination?

INITIAL IMPRESSION: Raine wastes no time finding trouble. By page five she’s embroiled in an attack by powerful demons who have some utterly creepy battle tactics, and who only Raine can see…and things plummet downhill from there. Yup. Calamity Raine is back.

MAIN CHARACTERS: Raine Benares is a seeker, a finder of lost things, and a sorceress of moderate powers. She’s also a street-smart, quick-witted, armed-to-the-teeth member of a family of infamous rogues and criminals. In MLTF, she found something she wasn’t looking for and has been trying to get rid of it ever since. The Saghred, an ancient, soul-munching stone of power, has claimed her as a bond servant—a plight that both disgusts her and at times gives her incredible abilities, but always at a price. Mychael Eiliesor, a fellow elf, Conclave Guardian, paladin and powerful spellsinger came into her life to help her shake off her disturbing attachment, and his job often puts him at odds with her instincts, but she knows not everything Mychael does for her is strictly in the line of duty. Tam, hot goblin, nightclub owner, recovering (or is he?) dark mage with a questionable past also finds himself entangled in Raine’s plight, though an entanglement of a different sort is more what he has in mind. When Raine accepts Tam’s help in one particularly grim and desperate scene, they find there are consequences for their collaboration. Serious consequences. As Raine’s dilemma continues, the love triangle manifests itself in a profound way and ultimately represents the forces of Good, Evil…and Raine.

SUPPORTING CHARACTERS: Oh my, where do I start? Phaelan, Raine’s infamous pirate cousin holds his own with the most menacing threats despite his lack of magical ability. Phaelan is devious, conniving, swaggering and steadfastly loyal. Phaelan’s dad, Raine’s uncle, Commodore Ryn Benares also steals a scene or two. Piaras, Raine’s young friend and adopted “kid brother” is a spellsinger university student of incredible talent. So much talent that it often threatens his life. Talon Tandu, friend and fellow student of Piaras, is a young, seductive, half-blood goblin/elf—and Tam’s son. Sora Niabi, professor of demonology, is very good at her job and a peer Raine can relate to. Vegard, the Guardian assigned to protect Raine, or just keep up with her—good luck with that, V—becomes an unwilling sidekick to many of her escapades. Archmagus Justinius Valerian, most powerful mage on Mid next to Mychael, is still recovering from an attack that occurred in book two. Or is he? Raine’s father, Eamaliel Anguis, also has a presence, though from inside the rock, and has a surprise in store. There are many more characters and it’s important to remember the names and roles of each, as they often make encore appearances.

VILLAIN: There are, once again, many who might qualify as “villain material,” and most either want to possess the Saghred/Raine talent team, or want the stone and/or Raine contained, controlled and destroyed, in no particular order. Sarad Nukpana is back in all his evil glory, as is Rudra Muralin, power-goblin of the past. Sundry demons, my favorite of which is yellow and pops out of the…well, on second thought, see for yourself. The demon horde has a formidable leader who’s in control of the invasion, and thinks Mychael would be quite delicious. Even some of the “good guys” are bad guys, and Carnades Silvanus, in particular, is always plotting and manipulating facts to suit his plans.

OTHER CHARACTERS: There is a large and well-drawn contingent of minor characters, including loyal Guardians, dark mage bodyguards, corrupt officials, seedy minions, and supernatural creatures of darkness. They have a habit of springing at Raine at any time and from any direction. Definitely keeps a reader on their toes.

WORLD BUILDING: The imaginative world continues on the Isle of Mid, home to the Guardian citadel, a university for learning the magic arts, the Quad, government buildings, tunnels, streets, alleys, abandoned edifices, passageways and a bustling seafront. In this fantasy world, the threat of a lawsuit is sometimes as imposing as the threat of violence.

CONFLICT: Raine wants one thing—to rid herself of the Saghred stone. Well, maybe she wants three things, Mychael and Tam also being at the top of her list, though she has good reasons for distancing herself from both despite the fact the Saghred wants to collect them as a packaged set.

ROMANCE: Raine and Mychael and Tam, oh my! How’s a girl to decide between the powerful White Knight of Mid who is sworn to protect her but shouldn’t even associate with her—not that he can stay away—or one of the darkest of dark mages who is doing everything he can to change his spots for Raine. Although this novel can’t be classified as a romance, I feel the romantic conflicts between the main characters is one of the most powerful aspects of this series. The characters are so compelling that I, as a reader, can’t make up my mind who I like better for Raine’s suitor any more than Raine can. That makes for some wonderful prolonged romantic intrigue that has carried through the first three novels, only gets more entangled in the third, and doesn’t look to be resolved anytime soon.

MOST QUOTABLE QUOTE(S): Sooo many fantastic quotes in this one, but some are so pivotal to the plot that I don’t want to spoil all the fun, so here are just a few non-spoiler extracts:

Phaelan’s philosophy: “Live fast, die young, and leave behind a damned fine-dressed corpse.”

Raine’s family: “I’m a Benares. Our standards of proper behavior are a little different than everyone else’s.”

Raine’s lament: “I scare me.”

MAGIC QUOTIENT: One of Raine’s thoughts pretty much sums it up: “…an apocalyptic, magical kaboom waiting to happen.”

EVIL AUTHORS GUILD STAMP OF APPROVAL: The Evil Authors Guild exists to encourage writers to inflict appropriate amounts of terror, angst and emotional torture into their characters’ lives, and to leave them twisting in the wind at every opportunity. As you may have guessed from the comments above, this one gets one big, fat, red Approved.

FINAL WORD: It’s rare when a sequel can carry on the inspiration and freshness of the original novel as ARMED & MAGICAL did. It’s rarer still when the third novel in the series can take the reader into uncharted territory in terms of romantic stakes, danger and spontaneity. THE TROUBLE WITH DEMONS goes there. The characters get a bit of a breather at the conclusion to reflect, rethink and possibly reload. The story is left with a wonderfully-developed suggestion of impending doom and a sharp, edgy hint that history is about to repeat itself. This air of suspense will no doubt leave readers clamoring for the next book in the series. THE TROUBLE WITH DEMONS delivers in spades…and rapiers, spears, daggers, and loads of “kaboom.”

Monday, April 6, 2009

The DILF Anthology is out.

The hot Dad's Anthology is out. Stop by Ravenous Romance.
It's book of the day.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Interview with me!!

I've been interviewed by Margaret West - link below.


Autographs later!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Speakeasy is out.

Hi, all.

My name is Dawn, I write under the name of D. L. Jackson. I’m a RR writer and thrilled to be able to share space with such a talented and fantastic group. I have three shorts in the anthologies, Men in Shorts, Sex and Shoes and the new Hot Dads or DILF Anthology. I also have a fourth short published as a stand-alone, Speakeasy. Which I’d love to tell you about.

Here’s a brief blurb:

You hauling anything illegal, Miss?

The roaring 20’s, guys and dolls, gangsters and prohibition. Leah is an outlaw, smuggling liquor to the speakeasies in New Orleans in a time when getting caught meant you might not see the outside of a cell again. In a chance encounter with Max on Christmas Eve, she learns there’s a bigger adrenaline high than transporting booze across state lines. Getting Max to chase her. Better yet—getting caught.

I’ve often been asked where I come up for the inspiration for the stories I write. Honestly? Life. When writing Speakeasy, the inspiration came from two sources. The first is this elderly woman who comes into the bank every week where I work. She has a walker and usually a cookie or muffin wrapped in a napkin, tucked away in her pocket to share with the teller who waits on her. We’ll call her Mary. Mary is in her nineties, a hunched back from weak bones, pale skin, almost translucent with age. Her once clear blue eyes are now hazed over with cataracts and her hair is pure white. I never realized how beautiful Mary was, until a gentleman stepped up to my window one day as she was leaving. “There goes the most beautiful doll in the world.”

He smiled as if he held a great secret. In fact he did.

“You should have seen her in her glory days. She used to sit on the piano and sing. There wasn’t a man in town that wasn’t in love with her. She’d walk down the street and they’d all stop to stare.” It got me to thinking…

I pulled out an old photo of my grandparents, when they were young. They were standing beside an old car, my grandfather’s foot on the running board, a rose in my grandmother’s mouth. Just like Bonnie and Clyde, wanting to look wild and reckless. My grandparents recently celebrated their 75th anniversary. I asked my grandfather. “What was grandma like in her youth?”

“The first time I saw her, I couldn’t speak. She was all I saw and the clocks stopped ticking.” Poetic for an old cowboy in his nineties. Who were the passionate hearts of generations past? Who were those women that sat on the pianos, worked as nurses when the profession was a questionable choice for a single woman, the cowgirls that inspired the cowboy’s songs and poetry. Who were the women who made the clocks stop ticking? What were their stories?

Have you ever asked your grandmother, your mother the tales of her youth? You might be surprised at the passionate tales they have and sometimes questionable things they did. Were they the beauties that set the county’s hearts aflame or the quiet girl who stole your grandfather’s every thought with one look?

Here’s to the woman who weren’t afraid to love and take chances. Here’s to Mary, Opal and Marjory. May your stories live on in your posterity and in our hearts. May I do them justice when I tell them.

Now go on, dig out those old photos. I know you want to.


Friday, March 27, 2009

Anna in the Middle - out today!!

The blurb
Anna is in the middle of a mess. She's being stalked by a manipulative guy who's about to marry her sister and has everyone convinced Anna is jealous. Her luck changes when she meets tall, blond and gorgeous Jax. But after a scorching night of sex, Anna discovers something that makes her think he's married.

Jax is in the middle of a dilemma. He's torn between the man he loves and a woman he's just met. Tracking her down means risking what he already has—but he wants them both. Jax is desperate to find her, but will she understand what he has to tell her?

Will is in the middle of heartache. He knows Jax loves him, though he's never said it. He also knows Jax has found a woman. Torn between being a good friend and Jax's lover, Will's not sure their relationship will survive. The only way to find out is to locate Anna for Jax. But when Will finds her, he discovers the reason Jax has fallen so hard.

available now from Ellora's Cave


Enigma of the Industry: Arlene

I wish I can verbalize reality as well as I can make believe, but seeing as I can't, I went ahead and stole the following from Nathan Bransfords blog.

Ten Commandments for the Happy Writer

Writers aren't generally known as the happiest lot. As a recent Guardian survey of some top writers shows, even the best ones don't particularly enjoy it all that much. And in case you think this is a new development, an 1842 letter from Edgar Allen Poe to his publisher recently surfaced in which he was found apologizing for drinking so much and begging for money.

But believe it or not, writing and happiness can, in fact, go together. For our Thursday entry in Positivity Week, here are ten ways for a writer to stay positive:

1. Enjoy the present. Writers are dreamers, and dreamers tend to daydream about the future while concocting wildly optimistic scenarios that involve bestsellordom, riches, and interviews with Ryan Seacrest. In doing so they forget to enjoy the present. I call this the "if only" game. You know how it goes: if only I could find an agent, then I'll be happy. When you have an agent, then it becomes: if only I could get published, then I'll be happy. And so on. The only way to stay sane in the business is to enjoy every step as you're actually experiencing it. Happiness is not around the bend. It's found in the present. Because writing is pretty great — otherwise why are you doing it?

2. Maintain your integrity. With frustration comes temptation. It's tempting to try and beat the system, whether that's by having someone else write your query, lying to the people you work with, or, you know, concocting the occasional fake memoir. This may even work in the short term, but unless you are Satan incarnate (and I hope you're not) it will steadily chip away at your happiness and confidence, and your heart will shrivel and blacken into something they show kids in health class to scare them away from smoking. Don't do it.

3. Recognize the forces that are outside of your control. While it's tempting to think that it's all your fault if your book doesn't sell, or your agent's fault or the industry's fault or the fault of a public that just doesn't recognize your genius, a lot of times it's just luck not going your way. Chance is BIG in this business. Huge. Gambling has nothing on the incredibly delicate and complex calculus that results in a book taking off. Bow before the whims of fate, because chance is more powerful than you and your agent combined.

4. Don't neglect your friends and family. No book is worth losing a friend, losing a spouse, losing crucial time with your children. Hear me? NO book is worth it. Not one. Not a bestseller, not a passion project, nothing. Friends and family first. THEN writing. Writing is not an excuse to neglect your friends and family. Unless you don't like them very much.

5. Don't Quit Your Day Job. Quitting a job you need to pay the bills in order to write a novel is like selling your house and putting the proceeds into a lottery ticket. You don't have to quit your job to write. There is time in the day. You may have to sacrifice your relaxation time or sleep time or reality television habit, but there is time. You just have to do it.

6. Keep up with publishing industry news. It may seem counterintuitive to follow the news of a business in which layoffs currently constitute the bulk of headlines. But it behooves you to keep yourself informed. You'll be happier (and more successful) if you know what you're doing.

7. Reach out to fellow writers. No one knows how hard it is to write other than other people who have tried to do it themselves. Their company is golden. If you're reading this it means you have an Internet connection. Reach out and touch a writer. And plus, the Internet allows you to reach out to writers without smelling anyone's coffee breath.

8. Park your jealousy at the door. Writing can turn ordinary people into raving lunatics when they start to believe that another author's success is undeserved. Do not begrudge other writers their success. They've earned it. Even if they suck.

9. Be thankful for what you have. If you have the time to write you're doing pretty well. There are millions of starving people around the world, and they're not writing because they're starving. If you're writing: you're doing just fine. Appreciate it.

10. Keep writing. Didn't find an agent? Keep writing. Book didn't sell? Keep writing. Book sold? Keep writing. OMG an asteroid is going to crash into Earth and enshroud the planet in ten feet of ash? Keep writing. People will need something to read in the resulting permanent winter.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Enigma of the Industry: Arlene

Frustration....writing at work and getting interrupted every two minutes.

Frustration...something up with Microsoft word and it's taking too long between clicks to load unless I reboot every couple hours.

Frustration....my problems with writing stem from writing a tome, 3 book series, without learning how to write first so rewrites are sooooo boring.

The editor at Tor publishing would not have misunderstood me if he hadn't been exhausted and I hadn't stalked and approached him without the ten minute time slot which I would have had if I'd booked before he filled up.

If I wasn't such a timid dreb, the social skills of a wall flower, I'd have slept the night before and could have engaged the thought in my head, 'new age is hippy-angel religious stuff, right?' But my photon is evil out of my mouth, and he'd have laughed and listened further.

So, my words of wisdom are: It's not always the agent-publisher, but the writer who thinks they have something, and they do, but they can't or won't or don't take the time to get it out of their head correctly.

And, conferences are alot of fun, but sign up for the entire thing in case you do want a chance to talk with someone further and never listen to an older sister who think it's a matter of image. Dress presentable, but comfortable. You're selling yourself, not a polished version that isn't really you and sneakers make your brain work better than borrowed heels.

This is an ego thing--Your Baby--and if the real world doesn't fall all over it, or you can't present it right, there's a zillion others out there willing to do the work, so you either write something else to open a door, or keep trying with rewrites and other publishers/agents until finally you draw the longer straw and someone in the business strikes a spark with you.

An update on me in this moment in time? I'm in family counseling with the series, but leaning toward divorce. I'm pushing a teenager stand-alone out the door and, yippee, I'm trying to get pregnant with something I don't have a clue what it'll turn out to be and I'm boggled down with crits maintaining a lovely symbiotic relationship with people who understand.

Enigma of the Industry: Laurie

Arlene—we're missing your words of wisdom. Maybe you'd like to comment on your frustrations with SE, like the editor you pitched who dismissed it as "new age" because he keyed in on certain words and assumed it was about angels, when it's really SF with a basis in physics. Do agents and editors really take the time to listen? Maybe they just don't have the time to listen--another enigma in itself. I recently heard a story of how one agent lamented that she'd wished she'd had a shot at a particular best selling novel, and the writer just smirked and (to her credit) said nothing , because she in fact HAD queried her and been rejected.

Also, I'd like to challenge some never do this advice often given to pre-published authors:

"You should never write additional books in the series until your first novel has sold and done well."

I beg to differ. Why not write a series if that's what inspires you? A waste of time? Writing is never a waste of time when you're churning out work that pleases you. If you're pleased, chances are your potential fans will be too. Maybe more than pleased. And wouldn't this solve the enigma if your first novel does go gangbusters and the reading public comes back with the demand of more, more, MORE! You already have it, have it, HAVE IT! and you know it's not going to be a disappointment because you and your muse had time to collaborate on a great story and work out the kinks without the dread deadline thundercloud looming on the horizon.

Let's face it, most of us don't write for the money, we write to tell a great tale that we want to share with the world. So if the inspiration keeps you writing with enthusiasm for three or four novels, then more power to ya! You aren't wasting your time, and you may just be building your future dynasty with a solid backlist of offerings.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Enigma of the Industry: Barbara

I think the author who has a stockpile ready once the first is accepted - is pretty much par for the course. Another CC member - who writes MM BDSM has had that happen to her. One novella accepted and they leapt on the others she'd already written.

I think for epublishers - there is less pressure on authors. I had a few chatty emails from one editor asking when she could expect my next but there was no pressure. Its different for the print guys who have to work to tight schedules and plan things years in advance. The epublishers don't have to do much more than space out their author's releases.

The fact that I had several in my pocket has taken off the pressure - in that even if I had a book accepted today - it wouldn't be put out for several months. So technically, I need to keep writing to keep up a reasonable publishing schedule - and that is more to keep in the reader's mind than anything else. I have heard of writers pushed by readers to write faster, write more of the same, etc. - not happened to me yet!

The other interesting thing is with more than one publisher to write for (the case for ebooks and not print) - how do you decide who to write for next?? You're usually tied in to one publisher for certain types of book. The contracts mean you have to submit each subsequent work to them. I feel now it would be tricky for me to write paranormal for EC - even in a different series.

But I think all this is easily handled by writers without agents. It's in the print world that you need their help. But with that help comes pressure.

Enigma of the Industry: Laurie

An author who is just about to publish her third book (and at least so far seems to be turning out utterly fantastic sequels) covered this issue on her blog and said that the editors and agents expect writers to be professionals. Okay, understandable, but a muse is a many splendored thing, but it's hard to pound your round muse into a square hole when it comes to having a flash of brilliant inspiration, or knowing just how to "fix" a scene or element that isn't working, or kick out a product by a specific date. You can't send a memo saying, "Muse, I have a project for you. I want you to write a 100,000 word, utterly brillaint, take-reader's-breath-away story with a can't-put-it-down plot, characters and premise, and I want it to be perfected and ready to go to press by this date." And your muse will laugh and say, "Oh reaaaaally? You want it WHEN?"

On the flip side, agents, editors and publishing houses need you on some sort of a schedule if they are going to be partners in building your career and making you a success. They can't except an answer like, "Hmmm, well, I dunno. Counting muse vacation time, plot development sabbaticals, research vacations and negotiating detours around potential plot roadblocks...I should get back to you in two or three years with a novel that will knock your socks off." Not gonna fly.

So how do you avoid getting in a jam? I think Barbara had the right idea, or maybe just the PERFECT TIMING (sorry, couldn't resist the plug) by completing a score of novels before her first sale. (A situation I think Dawn is also going to be in with her myriad of projects.) Of course, Barbara also writes at warp speed (compared to my impulse power), but it took her years to develop the system that works for her and results in a saleable product in a relatively short time. Even so, now that her stockpile of novels has been pretty much sold out, she'll be in the situation of producing on demand.

Barbara, any thoughts you'd like to share on that?

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Enigma of the Industry: Dawn

As for deadlines, I think more writers need to be up front with their publishers. The publisher asks, can you do it in six months. Can you? If you're not sure you better speak up. Nothing like locking yourself into a three book deal and not keeping up on your end. If you rush, will it be substandard? I've heard horror stories. When you sign that contract, you better be damn sure you can do it. If not, you're putting your career and name on the line. What can happen is you turn out a great first novel, the next one sucks and then not only are you out money and time, you're out readers who had faith in your work. The third ends up dropped by your publisher and you're lucky if they don't drop you.

Yes it's damn hard getting published, harder yet staying there. You have to be honest, with yourself and your publisher. I've waited a year for a book to come out and I survived the wait. Fans waited for Harry Potter, they wait for Jim Butcher, Karen Marie Moning. Writers can say "No, I need longer." Especially if the book you deliver lives up to expectations.

So are ya'll asking me to pity these successful authors because they don't know how to say "No, I need more time than you're suggesting?"

Beginning authors get crucified for less.