Vixenwriter: A Seduction In Words


Friday, March 31, 2006


I finished the big edits on Wolf, the book my agent is looking at right now (hi Laura!). I love this book, it needed some work and had been though some crit and rewrites and a general tightening but it's something I'm very proud of right now. Anyway, she's got it now and I hope she likes it.

Now I'm on to my edits for Sudden Desire and then back to Taking Chase, the follow up to Giving Chase for Samhain. This one is Shane's story.

Then, well I don't know just yet. Most likely back to Threat of Darkness because I love Jayce and Mei BUT, I got a great idea for a book when I was in Las Vegas that I need to plot out so I don't know just yet.

Someone left a very nasty review for Triad at amazon. Sigh. I hate that! Everyone should love my books. It should be mandatory. It's all about me! Me! ME! The thing is, when a book is about a "true mate" scenario, it seems pissy to complain that they know they're in love soon into the book. And when it's erotic romance that sex happens in the first 30 pages too. But bleah, I'll just hug my copy of RT and stick out my tongue at the amazon person.

What is everyone reading these days? I have Susan Elizabeth Phillips' Match Me While You Can in my tbr pile. I love her books.


Thursday, March 30, 2006

       Stuff and Junk and Stuff

Curious about the submissions process with Samhain? Angie James, the EIC (and my editor) has a very detailed entry about it over at Romance Divas. Check it out!

I've got a contest up to celebrate the release date for Cascadia Wolves: Enforcer on my contest page! Check it out! I've also put up an excerpt so if you'd like a sneak peek, take one, I won't tell.

The Mavericks and I will be hosting a chat tonight at Novel Talk at 6 pm pacific/9 eastern. Come by to hang out and possibly win something. Oh and here's a pic of us outside Studio 54 on St. Paddy's day -

This was taken by a very drunk investment banker who insisted he looked like a "young Mel Gibson." He had pretty eyes but that's where the comparison ended. He was thrilled to find out what we wrote though, LOL. And he started tossing out euphamisms.

Drunk Investment Banker Guy = "So, do you say succulent nipples?"
LD - "No."
MH - "laughs"
DIBG - "What about when they're wet! Come on, when they're wet!"
LD - "No. I'd never say that. I'd say baked chicken was succulent."

Megan cracked me up, she even convinced DIBG and his even drunker friend to pose for a picture and DIBG (who was very nice by the way) grabbed his friend's package and the other guy didn't blink. Ah, good times. Later, really drunk friend was seen to be crawling into the mouth of a woman who'd approached him to dance a minute before. Megan was horrified and wondered about cold sores for the rest of the trip, LOL. And I realize that last sentence makes it sound like Megan was involved in the kissing, not so! We just watched, openmouthed. I won't even talk about the guy in his sixties pawing the face of a woman in her early 20's. Eww.

But I digress, I'm very random today so be warned. Okay, so I'm random every day.

That's all for now, but I'm sure I'll think of something else later.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

       A Release Date

Enforcer will be releasing from Ellora's Cave on April 19! Anya Bast and I will be hosting the EC Chat board on the 18th all day so please come and join us.

I'll be updating my website later today, putting up an excerpt and a new contest so check back!

I'll also be chatting with the other Night Whisper Authors at Novel Talk at 6 pm pacific. We'll be announcing the winner of our Scavenger Hunt so don't miss it.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006


I just found out that Triad got a 4 1/2 star review from RT! I'm so thrilled!

The relevant bit is: "Dane may be new on the scene, but she's already written a detailed story that's quite compelling. The characters are strong and the plot stays on point."

Whoo, excited and really relieved. I'm happy dancin!

       Oh! Chat Tonight!

I'll be chatting tonight at FAR ( just click "chat") with the other Whispers Authors. Here's the promo that goddess Dawn Carrington created:

One Night Only
Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Meet All of Whispers' Authors
Talk about their new releases, the upcoming print anthologies, and the stories behind their books!

Lauren Dane
Tawny Stokes (also appearing as Vivi Anna)
Delilah Devlin
Myla Jackson
Leigh Wyndfield
Rachel Carrington
Deb Curwen
Margrett Dawson

Whispers will bring the prizes; the authors will bring the fun!

8:00 p.m.-10:00 p.m. EST
Fallen Angel Reviews Chat Room

       Let's Talk About Sex (baby)

I write sex. Yep. No mistaking what I do. Of course, I write more than just sex, I write books that have stories about other things sprinkled with a liberal dose of sex. And life should be like that. Good sex in books is like chocolate without calories.

Anyway, before I go off to my happy place thinking about oodles of chocolate and lots of sex (at the same time even!) - back to the subject.

Sex is a good thing. It's healthy and wonderful. Of course that lies within a context. Being dominated in a consentual environment is really hot. Being dominated by a man who just wants to abuse his partner is not. The differences sometimes are slight but it's my job as a writer, to make them clear.

My characters aren't real, but even if they're werewolves or Faeries, they should have some basis in reality. In A Touch of Fae, Em is a virgin when she meets Con. Not because she was afraid of sex, but because she's an empath and can feel what people feel about her and it's made her skittish. Anyway, when they have dirty/bad/wrong sex for the first time, he's upset because she didn't tell him she was a virgin and he was afraid he'd hurt her. He puts her in a bath to soak and they don't have intercourse again right away because, hello! you get sore after that first time.

When/if my characters have kiddos, they aren't furniture. Having kids means your sex life is tailored to their schedules and it means you have LOCKS on your doors!

Anal - oh I'm gonna skip the buttsecks comments. You know, let's keep it real people, but not too real.

Anyway, I want to portray sex in my books as healthy and fun as well as hot. As something that connects my characters to each other. And hopefully I do that.

On a related note - apparently Sharon Stone approached some teenaged girl in a clothing store and when her mother walked away, she told the girl that having oral sex was much healthier for her than intercourse at her age. This was her idea of help. I think Sharon needs help. There are lines, people! Sheesh.

PPS - I'm dying from laughter because some of the Real World people have myspace pages. My stomach aches from snickering.

Monday, March 27, 2006


There's this place, I call it writer's limbo (well, publically I do. Privately I have other names for it) when your book is contracted and you're just waiting for edits. Cause you can't get your book released without them you know.

I hate writer's limbo. It sucks. I'm there right now with FOUR books, LOL! I'm impatient. I want my books released. I finished two of them in October so I really want those out. I hate being dependent on other people's schedules. And really, damn it, why can't people figure out that it's all about me!

Unfortunately, this business is all about other people's schedules. Agents, editors, publishers, printers - you write and send your stuff off and then you wait. You hear back, turn something around and wait some more.

I'd like to say that I've learned patience from this. But I'd be lying. Parenting, now that's taught me patience. But this just gives me a stomach ache. I do accept it however, cause that's the way things go in this universe and control freaks like me just have to deal.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

       Random Amusement

Because addiction can be cute and furry - Kittenwar! I'm warning you ahead of time, it's impossible to resist just one more click.

More? Okay, how about this? Yeah, watch at your own risk and don't drink anything while you do (well, it's clear to me that Liza didn't listen to this admonishment)

Another? How about Natalie Dee's hilarious comics? This is her index page and the newest one of the day is up and the others are text linked below.

A post that got linked to death at Live Journal this week and deservedly so IMO - No More Mr. Nice Guy.

A trip to TVgasm is always nice, or Bitchtastic, don't forget Best Week Ever!

Friday, March 24, 2006

       The Road Here

I'm working on edits for a book I'm targeting at NY. It's a werewolf book with a romantic suspense plot. This book has been with me for a while. I love this book. It did however, need to be tightened up.

It occurs to me as I'm working on it, just how much my writing has changed and you know, when people say that ebooks won't get you anywhere I have to argue. What epublishing has done for me is make me a better writer. Period.

Each time I go through a round of edits, I get better at my craft. I either learn how to argue for myself in a coherent fashion or I learn how to make the words better and more comprehensible. Each new book I finish is cleaner and takes less tweaking than the last. My worlds are stronger, my POVs are stronger (and less jumpy), my sentences tighter and more active.

I'm a long way from perfect copy, but I'm a long way from the writer I was when I hit send on Triad, too. I had no idea then what this business was like. I had a story idea and I put it down on paper but the road from there to here has been filled with new experiences and so much learning.

This is sort of a ramble but happily, I still love my book and it's better now for the excess tweaking and editing. Even better? I'm better now for the work. Not that I love editing, cause I don't. Really, I don't. But I see how necessary it is and I do it. And the end product is better for it.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

       Lauren At The Airport

Okay, so as I'm on my way to security to go to my gate, I see the airport has a Borders store. Hee! I head to go look to see if Triad is on the shelf right as Anya calls to tell me her gate is in a seperate security section so we have to say goodbye then (pout). She also tells me she's checked out the Borders and no dice.

But I realize I've put my book in my suitcase and although I have a lot of editing to do, I need a book just in case so J and I go to check out their selection.

First of all, romance is way in the back in a corner. I see two books I'd say were "erotic romances" - a Jaid Black title on the top shelf and Kate's Wolf Tales. So I pick out a Rachel Gibson (because I already have Wolf Tales) and head to check out.

When the clerk asks if I've found everything I say, "well everything but my book." And she asks what I write and I tell her.

Turns out she used to work at the Borders in a mall we were in just days before (and neglected to see the darned place!) and that they did a bang up business for EC books. This makes me happy until she says.... Well, and since they decided to go print and make real books, it's a great thing.

I mean, it is a great thing that EC books (and now Samhain) are in print. I love to hold my books in my hands. It's wonderful and it certainly increases my ability to have a wider cross section of people read me.

But it's comments like that that make me furious! For the record, I spend a lot of time and energy on my books. Whether they're in ebooks or in print, they're "real" thank you very much.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

       The Thunder from Down Under

As promised - all the boy butter you can handle! I'm in the back row with the black dress on between the guy with the nipple ring (mmmmm) and the big pec dude with the big, er, smile. Megan is the one doing the devil horns and Anya is on the far left. Leigha is in the last row in the purple. She's got James Dean AND the pirate which is why she's grinning like a fool.

The Thunder from Down Under is worth every penny. We had a total blast!

Monday, March 20, 2006


I just love that word! Anyway, I'm exhausted. Spent the last four days in Las Vegas with my buddies Megan Hart and Anya Bast and Leigha Richards and we had an absolute blast. I got a lot of great ideas for books and my picture taken with The Thunder From Down Under - Megan says she's going to scan hers and I'll be sure to post one here. If you are in Vegas, you need to go. Pirates with nipple rings and James Dean, ooooh!

A recharge to my creative batteries if there ever was one! I edited and sketched out plot and talked writing in the breeze in a hot tub and drinking coronas. Sang and danced, listened to great Irish music at the Nine Irishmen pub in the New York New York (what a cool place!). Saw the cheeziest show ever "Bite" which had vampire teeth, bare breasts, a "vampire lord", people hanging from ropes and magic (it was my comment that all they needed were vampire poodles jumping through flaming hoops). It was so bad it was good.

Anyway, here's a picture of Megan Hart (who just signed a three book deal with Harlequin Spice) on your left and me on the right (not bad for 2 am huh?).

And one of Anya - who was the belle of the ball and we had to beat the men off (heh, not like that!) with a stick.

Notice how she looks great even when she's goofing off? Sigh. If she wasn't so marvelous I'd hate her.

And one just before we headed out for an afternoon of serious, studious pursuits. Because we were so not drinking and going to see male strippers or anything.

From Left to right - Lauren Dane, Anya Bast, Megan Hart and Leigha Richards (a Mav in training).

There are more pictures and I definitely have more to say about Vegas and our trip in general but I have work to do for now so I'll be off and comment more later!

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

       New Review for SOH! And General Squee

Just heard from Angel at Romance Junkies and she gives Sleight of Hand4 1/2 ribbons!

She says in part: "SLEIGHT OF HAND is a wonderful book full ofadventure and erotic romance. This is the first book that I have readfrom Whispers Publishing and I will certainly be on the lookout formore of their books in the future. Lissie is one tough cookie andstands up to Xander on every hand. Xander is dominant but also has asensitive side that will make readers melt. The love scenes betweenthis couple are steamy so keep some ice handy. Xander's mother as thevillain accents the plot. Lauren Dane has penned a wonderful storythat readers are sure to enjoy. Her creative writing will certainlyhave you searching for more of her books."

Hee! Thanks, Angel!

And in fabulous news, Megan Hart, my buddy Sparkles, has just signed a three book deal with Harlequin Spice! I can't think of anyone more deserving of this deal, she's an amazing writer who has worked her ass off for this. And I've read Dirty, the first book and I have to tell you all it's incredible book.

I'm off to Vegas for a few days to write and relax with my girlfriends. Behave yourselves while I'm gone!


Tuesday, March 14, 2006

       Sword And Crown

So I finished my partial and my synopsis for Sword and Crown last night. You see, I'm a pantser. I don't use outlines, I just put fingers to keys and let my muse take over. So this was a challenge for me.

It worked out well I think. Not well enough for me to actually outline on a regular basis, LOL, but well enough that it'll definitely aid me in completing the book and I may use it with novellas, which are a different ballgame from novels.

Now I will show it to Anya Bast, who's story will be linked to mine by a common universe. Her heroine is my heroine's sister. Then I'll send it off to my editor and wait to hear back. As it's not slated to come out until next year, the pressure isn't as great, which is nice.

It's nice when I finish something. Makes me feel all accomplished and everything!

Monday, March 13, 2006

       Tales of a neurotic author

I got a note from a reader yesterday and she asked me, ever so nicely, if I could talk about the hard stuff that writers deal with. No, not the horror of edits or deadlines but the things that make us neurotic and crazy and depressed. She's actually quite sweet so wish granted.

Last week, I had a full manuscript request with an agent. This is a big deal. I very much want to be represented, I want to break and write for NY as well as continue with ebooks.

But alas, the agent, while liking me and my voice, did not like the book. Now, the thing is, writers are already neurotic people. We're needy and while we talk a good game about being used to rejection, don't let us fool you. Being rejected sucks. It does. It's not a trade secret or anything. But being rejected with a book that's close to your heart and when you feel on the verge of the next big step? That really sucks.

I tried not to let it bother me but I couldn't. So I wallowed. My husband brought home brownies and poured me a shot and cracked a corona for me right when he walked in the door. I cried in my bed and wallowed and freaked that it would never happen.

But the next day, I got up and back up on the horse (with the aid of a very encouraging email from the agent). Cause it's what we do. If we don't, we're damned. Damned and lost and we'd most certainly never make it then. Still sucks, but you move forward and try to toughen up because rejection will happen again. It is part and parcel of the deal.

So there you go, Gail. A little scary insight into the neuroses of this particular writer.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

       Brain Dump

Got a release date for Giving Chase!! June 27!! Wheee! Samhain has their shit together and they're very on the ball and I really appreciate that. I've updated my website and I'll be putting an excerpt up soon.

Wrote about hooks and blurbs and covers at the Writer Babes blog earlier today. Check it out, respond if you feel the whim. It's always good for authors to know what inspires readers to pick up books from authors they've never heard of or books they aren't sure about.

I'm reading J. R. Ward's vampires. Dark Lover. Clever, unique twist on a vampire tale. I like her universe very much. Love the uber dominant vampire who is bad to the bone. The names of the characters? Not so much. Wrath I can deal with, but Phury? Rhage? Thorment? It pulls me out of the richness of the landscape each time I come across it on the page. I'm hoping to get used to it soon. I really like the heroine as well.

Watched Mr. and Mrs. Smith the other night. Dude. First of all, I don't usually have a thing for blond men. I like dark hair and eyes but what is it about Brad Pitt anyway? Each time I think, "eh, I could take him or leave him" I see him in something and he makes me all tingly in my naughty bits. Doesn't hurt that Angela has the same effect. The movie wasn't what I expected. I like that actually. I rarely get surprised by anything anymore. It wasn't stellar, but I was entertained. Maybe it was just me, but those love scenes looked pretty real to me.

Now I'm babbling. I need to make lunch and get back to my galley edits. Have a good Sunday!


Saturday, March 11, 2006

       Galleys and BSG and Fantasy - oh my!

So I got my print galley for A Touch of Fae. It's interesting to go back a year later and have the chance to edit a bit again. I have to restrain myself from getting too involved or I'd change loads of stuff and they'd be annoyed with me. But your writing changes and improves over time and it's hard not to tweak it within an inch of its life.

It's nice though, to read it again and remember all the reasons why I like Em and Con so much and it's good to get me back in a Fae state of mind for Threat of Darkness, Jayce's book.

Battlestar Galactica's season finale was last night and OMG! SQUEE from the geeky girl. It was so good, so unexpected. I loved it and I can't wait for next season, which unfortunately won't start until October. It definitely redeemed itself from a few less than stellar episodes this season last night.

Right now I'm working on two projects, one I'm nearly finished with, a partial of a fantasy themed novella for EC called Sword and Crown and the other, a werewolf book that I won't talk about too much because I don't want to jinx it.

I love to write fantasy. It's really fun and different, something new to challenge myself with. I hope this one turns out the way I'd like it to!

Okay, off for now. Have a lovely Saturday, everyone!


Friday, March 10, 2006

       Looking For A Little Hot Gossip?

As you know, since I've blogged it, I'm one of the seven launch authors for Whispers. Sleight of Hand released last week on opening day with the Tawny Stokes', Hot Gossip . Tawny is the saucy alter ego of that minx, Vivi Anna. So I wanted you all to see a snippet of her novella because it's really hot and a great read!

After a quick nap, a long shower, a slathering of cocoa butter and strategically placed perfume, Makayla sashayed into the hotel’s bar with a mission. She wore black leather pants with fashionably enhanced hips and a low cut sweater twin set that displayed more fashionably enhanced products like the triple click cleavage bra. God bless Victoria’s Secret.

Makayla quickly scanned the crowd but didn’t see Ethan. She took a stool at the bar and ordered a Pink Lady. As she took a sip, she stared at herself in the facing mirrored wall behind the counter. She ran a hand through her hair and fluffed it up. After trailing her tongue over her plump painted lips, she winked at herself. No man could resist her. She was a temptress, a seductress. An old star harlot like Brigitte Bardo. Ethan didn’t have a chance.

But what then? She’d entice him, flirt with him, ply him with drinks, and then what? She didn’t have a clue. She obviously didn’t think that far ahead. Would she actually step over the line of journalist ethics--yes, she had a line--and sleep with him for a story?

The moment she spotted Ethan in the mirror as he walked into the bar and sat down at a table, all the blood rushed from her head down to her crotch. He looked absolutely edible in his soft blue chambray shirt and tan Chinos. His hair was parted and slick to the side. It still looked wet as if he had just stepped out of the shower.

Makayla swallowed the saliva pooling in her mouth as she thought of him just stepping out of the stall, his body slick and wet, the fresh scent of soap on his hard flesh, and a sexy playful grin on his chiseled face.

She felt little quivers of desire in her thighs and a quickening of things in between. Yes, she might just cross that line.

Taking another sip of her drink, she tried to compose herself. She was a professional and this was her assignment. Ethan Devane was just a story and nothing more.

After flipping back her hair, she swung around on the barstool, crossing her legs seductively as she did. She pretended to scan the crowd, a look of boredom etched on her face. At least, she hoped it was boredom and not pent-up sexual frustration.

It was getting more and more difficult to reign in her lust with Ethan so near. He was like a pheromone nuclear bomb. No one within a twenty-mile radius was safe from the hormonal fall-out.

As her gaze moved over his table, she was caught in his piercing blue laser sighting. She felt her heart skip a beat as a smile slowly spread across his perfectly structured face. Those damn dimples winked at her again. She licked her lips, afraid that drool had escaped past them. His smile broadened as he probably thought her tongue made an appearance just for him. So what if he was right.

Makayla breathed deeply and pulled away from his entrancing stare to return her gaze safely back to her drink. She took another sip and turned back on her stool. Contact made. Now she would wait and see if he answered the call.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

       Thankful Thursday and Assorted Squee

First of all, I write this as the new Pearl Jam single is playing. Worldwide Suicide available for FREE download at their website for their fans. Ahhh. I like it. No, I love it. Ed's voice sounds marvelous and I'm digging the hook. Yes, up front I am a fan, a big fan and I'll be buying the new CD when it drops on May 2. Sadly I won't be doing any of the first tour dates on the East Coast in May though, le sigh, they need to give a girl a bit more notice.

In actual writing news (shocking!) I sent my contract off today for Sudden Desire. Why yes, a new title in less than two days. I am happy enough with it. Not as happy as I was with Unexpected but you can't always get what you want and fer cripes' sake, I just sold a book so I need to not complain (not that I will you see, but I know I should)

I got back to work on my fantasy themed, Sword and Crown last night. The ever wonderful Anya Bast and I are linking our stories, a first for me. This is for a tarot themed series Ellora's Cave is doing next year. My book/novella is themed on the Queen of Swords. I'd felt really stuck but I cut some stuff and took some suggestions that Anya gave me and last night I moved around some text cut some backstory and it's much smoother now. In any case, I've almost got enough to send my proposal to my editor, which will be a relief (to Anya too, I'd wager)

Thankful Thursday:

  • Selling another book! There are days when I wonder if I can keep this up, if the successes before are a fluke and then something happens to let me know this is real and if I keep working I can do it long term. This makes me very happy and very very grateful.
  • Great reviews for Sleight of Hand.
  • A most wonderful husband who loves me and takes care of me and puts up with me when I'm editing.
  • Happy and healthy kids
  • Friends. I am the luckiest woman in the world in my friends.
  • Snow. It's snowing here today. It won't stick or last but it's so beautiful.
  • Great books. I've read several excellent books recently (and blogged on them)
  • Perhaps an agent
  • The perfect little black dress
  • Vegas

That's it for now. A good list, if I do say so myself.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

       Bow Down To The Bitches

So the wonderfully clever bitches over at Smart Bitches Who Love Trashy Novels (a daily read) caught the completely asstastic words spoken by Bill Napoli, a republican senator from South Dakota in response to his idea of an exception to the anti abortion law just passed there. He says:

A real-life description to me would be a rape victim, brutally raped, savaged. The girl was a virgin. She was religious. She planned on saving her virginity until she was married. She was brutalized and raped, sodomized as bad as you can possibly make it, and is impregnated. I mean, that girl could be so messed up, physically and psychologically, that carrying that child could very well
threaten her life.

Because you know, if you're raped, you are meaningless and a horrible slut unless you're a virgin saving herself for marriage who goes to church.

Doesn't matter where your feelings lie on the abortion issue here folks. This kind of statement sets women back a hundred years. It sets up the idea that women's lives are more or less valuable when it comes to a brutal crime depending on the presence of a thin membrane of skin and church. This is utter bullshit and it makes my skin crawl to hear a member of the US Senate saying something like this.

So in response to these utterly misognyistic words, the bitches came up with a wonderful idea. Which is to pick up the strategy of Dan Savage (see his definition of Santorum) and create one just for Bill Napoli. Go and check it out...

By the way, today is International Women's Day. It seems fitting to post this today.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

       A New Review For SOH

MA at the Pink Posse says of Sleight of Hand: A 5 Pink Hats Off Salute to Lauren Dane for a sizzling hot and fun to read story that captures the frustration people often face in a new relationship.

I recommend reading this story because the chemistry between Xander and Lissie is so strong and real that you will feel a part of their story. Grab a glass of ice water and be prepared for an enjoyable read.

Thank you so much, MA!!

       Guess Who Contracted A Quickie?

No, not that kind of quickie, my short story, Sudden Desire, has been contracted by Ellora's Cave for their Fun In The Sun summer quickie theme in June! I'm really excited because this is my first short (12k words) and it was really fun to write.

But in the whole title realm, my 50/50 luck fell on the thumbs down side, sigh. Apparently someone else was using Unexpected, the original title, and I had to find another. But in good news, it only took two days to work out instead of weeks so I'm cheered by that.

Look for it in June sometime, I don't have a release date just yet!!

Anyway, I put up a short excerpt at my loop. Happy day!

Monday, March 06, 2006

       Yesterday - a long meander about shoes, glitter and breasts

I went in search of sandals and a dress/something a bit dressy to wear on my upcoming writer's retreat/trip yesterday.

In the first place, what is up with macrame on shoes? Uh, no thanks. I love espadrilles and wanted to find a pair but they all looked like some part project my mom made in the 70's or they had sparkles or spangles or they were gold. And what is up with that? I don't want to wear gold shoes. I'm not seventy nor am I in Oz. Anyway, total and utter bust on finding shoes although I laughed out loud in one shoe store when I heard a guy say to his wife/girlfriend, "yeah, we definitely need to get you some more slutty looking shoes." I think my husband would like that guy.

Then I hunted for a dress. It's formal dance season here, I wasn't aware of that until yesterday when I had to wade through the knots of teenaged girls giggling and fighting with their mothers over taffeta and sparkles. So I didn't want taffeta or sparkles. It's slim pickens out there right now in the non sparkle category. I tried on a skirt that would best be described by my husband as "an at home entertainment skirt" I would have been a bit frightened to sit down in public, unless there was a pole.

At last I found a dress. It's quite sexy and low cut but not slutty. But the low cut thing required some creative thinking and I found a camisole to wear under it and on the rack next to the camisoles were wonder bras. Now, I've never had a wonder bra before. In a rather TMI moment, I'll confess that I have C cups and so I haven't needed one. But I thought, "I bet my husband will like this!" and I bought it. Well! I am quite seriously considering an all wonder bra all the time policy. Dude! In the low cut dress? My breasts looked spectacular (for a 38 year old) and I was left marveling at the genius of bra engineering.

All of this left me thinking about my body. More specifically, how my perceptions of it have changed over time. So over the last year and a half I've lost about sixty pounds. Yep, a full kindergardener! Anyway, I'm not sure I've worn a low cut sexy black dress in at least ten years. And it's not that I had body issues, I didn't, I've always felt sexy, no matter my size. But suddenly, I'm having to deal with my body in a different way. It's odd to me to notice men looking at me in such frankly appraising ways. I'm a pretty big flirt and now i have to be more careful about it because I'm more of a sexual being on the outside. Odd. Gah! I think too much.

Oh, one last thing, I went into Waldenbooks and Triad was there. I picked it up and turned to the woman browsing next to me, "I wrote this book!" And she was so sweet. I suddenly realized that I was standing there with a total stranger with a menage vampire/wizard/witch three way, well, more than one, in my hand. I think she bought it actually, she had it in her hand when I left the store. Even if she didn't, it was veyr nice of her to ask me all about it. Man, I'm goofy.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

       I Really Hate Censorship and Ignorance

My friend, Beck, who I adore mightily, posted this story yesterday on a message board where my girlfriends and I hang out.

SAVANNAH, Mo. — A children's book about two male penguins that raise a baby penguin has been moved to the nonfiction section of two public library branches after parents complained it had homosexual undertones.

The illustrated book, "And Tango Makes Three,'' is based on a true story of two male penguins, named Roy and Silo, who adopted an abandoned egg at New York City's Central Park Zoo in the late 1990s.

Okay, now here's the thing, I am sick of this attitude. Seriously. A library is a place any person can go and check out books. It's not the place for rabidly paranoid people to take out their issues on the rest of us. Keep that at home, please.

If you think a story about penguins adopting an egg is a threat to the mind of your child, don't check out the book. Wow, how simple was that? But no, they couldn't stop there, no, they had to take their paranoia up a notch and make the book next to impossible for anyone else to find because kids aren't often in the nonfiction section.

This kind of petty, small minded hysteria is destructive. And I'm not just saying this as an author, I'm saying this as a parent and a citizen. It's one thing to hold a set of personal beliefs, it's another to shove them down everyone else's throat and affect other people's choices. I don't want that, I don't need that and I don't want people threatened by penguins making my parenting and reading choices.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

       Night Whispers Authors Contest!

To celebrate the grand opening of our website and author group, we're holding a contest. For details, please go to the contest page of our website.

Closing Date: 28 March – winner announced at Night Whispers Authors NovelTalk chat on 29 March 2006 9.00 pm EST

Prize A: Download of any of Maggie Casper’s books
An autographed print copy of Erin’s Fancy by NJ Walters
An autographed copy of Triad by Lauren Dane
Download of any of Kate Hill’s books
Download of any of Jeanne Barrack’s books
An Elementals charm bracelet from Liddy Midnight

Prize B: Autographed copy of one of Jory Strong’s print titles
Download of Out There in the Night by Laura Baumbach
$5 Venus Press Gift Certificate from Mary Winter
Download of any of Eve Vaughn’s books

Prize C: Download of any of Lena Matthews books
Download of Blood Kiss or Conduit by Mechele Armstrong

Prize D: Download of No Holes Barred: Stranded by Shelley Munro
Download of Peppermint Creek Inn by Jan Springer

All answers are available on the authors' websites. Links are available on the Night Whispers Authors' pages.

Every reader who joins our Night Whispers Author group will receive a second chance in the draw. Mention you are a member when you send in your answers to the scavenger hunt to get that second chance!

Friday, March 03, 2006

       Off The Cuff

You know, I often have no idea what to write until I open the window here and start typing. I know and here you all thought I was so organized (eye roll). But I often think of this blog as sort of a conversation with the people who read it. Many of them have blogs that I read too and comment on. It's sort of a way of keeping in touch.

Which makes me think about the concept of community in general. For instance, as an author, I'm on a few author chat loops. It's funny how each chat loop has its own personality but there are two of them that I absolutely love to participate on, I just click there I suppose. The authors are not constantly trying to one up each other and there's real celebration for the successes that people earn as well as real sympathy and great advice when folks get rejections or suffer personal setbacks.

Without community, I'd shrivel up and die I think. Without my friends there to help me and give me advice and to say, "do your research before signing that" or "don't submit there, they suck" or even "you rock" I'd live in isolation from the writing world.

And that's so easy to do as a writer. Because I live in my head a lot. And my work is solitary quite often (except for research with my husband). So being able to reach out and be heard is important because it lets me know I'm not just talking to an empty room.

And so you see, I'm totally blathering and some days it's obvious that the real meaning for "off the cuff" is "talking out of my ass" But here's another blog entry down and now I have to make lunch for my kids and clean my kitchen. Because writing is all about the glamour.

Oh! One thing though, I just read in the EC newsletter that woman on top is a dumb sexual position. I totally disagree! I also disagree that the woman does all the work. I love that position, it's a great position because it leaves all your best parts exposed to touching and kissing. Hmm, maybe I'll write about sexual positions sometime...

Thursday, March 02, 2006

       Women's History Month and Women of Color Day

Yesterday marked the beginning of Women's History Month and today is Women of Color Day.

Which is cool because I've been thinking about Octavia Butler a lot over the last days since her death. What a trailblazer Butler was. As a black woman writing in a genre that is still very male and white, she kicked down a lot of doors. Her writing is deft and clever and the weight of what's between the lines in her books is better than what a lot of people say straight out. Her death is a great loss to the creative world.

Other authors of color who've fired my imagination? Sandra Cisneros whose short novel, House on Mango Street remains a favorite some fifteen years after I read it the first time. I wish she'd get more attention, her writing is unique and beautiful.

Isabel Allende - her books, all very different but all amazing, are on my keeper shelf. I remember reading In the House of the Spirits and when I finished it, I put it down for an hour and picked it up and read it again. Daughter of Fortune is a marvelous historical covering a period of time rarely written about in fiction and nearly unheard of from the woman's perspective.

When it comes to inspiration - Audre Lorde is someone whose words have given me something to hold onto when things get bad or when I'm needing something to push me through.

The sharing of joy, whether physical, emotional, psychic, or intellectual, forms a bridge between the sharers which can be the basis for understanding much of what is not shared between them, and lessens the threat of their difference.

Her writing on sexual identity is insightful and revolutionary.

"We tend to think of the erotic as an easy, tantalizing sexual arousal. I speak of the erotic as the deepest life force, a force which moves us toward living in a fundamental way."

Maxine Hong Kingston's Woman Warrior is still a book I pick up and am amazed by. Part memoir, part fairy tale, part cultural history - it's something that marked my consciousness and continues to feed my imagination.

Amy Tan's narrative on family, especially mothers and daughters is beautiful and inspiring.

More women who've had a huge impact on my life and identity as a woman and a feminist: bell hooks, Rosa Parks, Sojourner Truth, Delores Huerta, Marian Wright Edelman (who inspired me to go to law school and work on behalf of abused children)

There are many more and I hestitate doing this one entry because I don't want to make it seem like it's just a one day thing. Celebrating creativity and passion should happen every day. But I thought it'd be nice to celebrate special today.

I'll be doing more over the month because I love women. I love being a woman and it's important to celebrate sisterhood when you can.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

       Day After Blather

Yesterday's simultaneous loop parties were fabulous! It was slightly dizzying keeping track of everything and there was a glitch in the download system at Whispers but all appears to be okay today.

My brain is still fried today but I did write last night anyway and edit a bit too. I also started and finished Alison Kent's, The Beach Alibi, which was delightfully smutty and entertaining. I like Kelly John a lot and Emma is a wonderful sexy heroine. Alison is one of my favorite romance authors out there because she writes sex with such zeal and joy. She pushes the boundaries in an authentic way. Her scenes are not forced or silly, they're sexy and they fit well with her characters.

Wow, March already. Sigh. The time is flying by this year. I'm going to Las Vegas with my bestest girlfriends in two weeks for a mini writing retreat. I can't wait to write all day without interruption. There will be pictures. Heh.