Vixenwriter: A Seduction In Words


Wednesday, May 31, 2006

       It's A Good Day To Open My Inbox

Got my first round edits on Vengeance Due! I'm working on them around kid chaos and hope to get them taken care of today.

And then I heard that Thrice Bound (Witches Knot Book 4) has been offered a contract from EC and also that Reluctant has been offered a contract and will be part of the Autumn Animalia Quickie Series!

I got my edits on Giving Chase back to my editor at Samhain and all is moving in the right direction there.

Once I'm done with these edits I'll complete the finishing touches on GWAB and get that to my agent and get back to Threat of Darkness and Taking Chase.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

       A Blurb For Reluctant

Got it sent out to my editor this morning. This is part of the Cascadia Wolves universe, it takes place 10 years ago.

Here's the blurb: Layla Warden had a ten year plan and it sure as heck didn't include a mate. She had her flashy car and her corner office and all was right with the world until Sid Rosario sat down at her table and turned her life upside down.

Sparks fly right off as the two werewolves flirt over dinner and it's no surprise to either of them when they end up back at his hotel room, naked and sweaty. But what is a surprise is that Sid is her mate and they don't figure it out until the bond is sealed.

Angry and off balance, Layla asks Sid for some time to think and he gives her a day and a half to get herself straight. Any longer than that and the lack of the anchor of the tri-bond, the stabilizing third bond for a werewolf female, will begin to take its toll on the female mate's sanity.

Layla, driven by confusion and fear, heads out of contact while a frantic Sid looks for her. What comes next helps a reluctant wolf find her way to acceptance.

Monday, May 29, 2006


One thing I'll say for quickies is that you can write them very fast because you're essentially distilling down to one scene or a few scenes in a larger story. I just finished up two hours ago and I'm pretty pleased with where I ended up. I'm going to submit it for the "Autumn Animalia" series but I'm not sure if it's got enough focus on the werewolf aspect to be a part of it, although both characters are werewolves and the central focus is based on an integral factor in their culture. In any case, even if it's not right for that series, it'll still be a good quickie for another time of the year.

I'll go back through tonight and lengthen the first sex scene and edit and get it to my editor tomorrow. Still not sure what I'll call it. I'd like to just call it "Cascadia Wolves: Sid and Layla" but I don't know just yet. For those who've read Enforcer, we hear about Sid and Layla's bonding when Tracy goes to talk to Nina about the importance of the tri-bond. And yes, there's a threesome scene in this one, just one, and Layla is blindfolded (yeah, that bit came to me last night, I liked the different focus that a scene takes when she can't see who is doing what)

So it's set ten years ago and Layla is twenty five and so not looking for a mate when she ends up with one totally by surprise.

Anyway, she's surprised and scared and reluctant which is why I've had reluctant as part of the title from day one, but I'm not sure if that's the title or not and if so, what other word will work.

I'll talk to my editor about titles, right now it's just called Reluctant and that's probably what I'll submit it as.

I watched Kill Bill Vol I and II last night. Each time I do, I'm struck by something totally different. Still, I think I is my favorite of the two movies - the scene with the Crazy 88s in Japan kicks ass - from beginning to end. And Elle and Bea in the trailer, yeah, best line "Bitch, you ain't got a future." Daryl Hannah is crazy. I love that. "yeah, that's right, I killed your master." Beauty.

Sunday, May 28, 2006


This time a Five Star, O Rating from JERR - Thank you, Ann!

Cascadia Wolves: Enforcer pits against each other two of the most stubborn, headstrong and sexiest characters that I have read in a long time. Nina Reyes has been hiding behind a façade for years. She is not a delicate flower by any means. Any woman who can take down a werewolf and have the confidence to call the Alpha names doesn’t need anyone to protect her. However, she needs Lex emotionally. He is her rock but he doesn’t cosset her. His steadfast loyalty allows her to lean on him and feel protected. Lex is an Enforcer, protecting the pack is his job. However, he has difficulty adjusting to the fact that she wasn’t raised as a wolf. He keeps neglecting to tell her things about his culture that jeopardize her trust in him. Yet, under all the strength and intelligence hides a gentle and caring man who says the most amazing and heartfelt things. The sex is amazingly hot and sexy especially with the anchor. The secondary characters are rich in detail and I will definitely look for their stories in the future. Enforcer is a great story where the heroine could literally rip your throat out while the hero steals your heart!

       Wooty Toot Toot! (man I'm goofy)

In the last week I've gotten one early review for Sudden Desire from Joyfully Reviewed. So new it's not even up yet! But Talia says in part: Sudden Desire by Lauren Dane just about melted my palm pilot! I kept trying to convince myself that I would not want a spoiled man like Trevor and then he had to go and show me how lovable he could be. I have to admire Tess for her refusal to settle. I’m not sure I would have been able to resist anything that came from Trevor. Together, the lovers were combustible.

Sudden Desire by Lauren Dane is erotic, poignant, and humorous. I thought it quite entertaining and it is just one of the many books that I have enjoyed written by Lauren Dane. I think Sudden Desire is a great choice for an afternoon read or maybe for just a bit of Fun in the Sun!

And Courtney Michelle at Romance Reviews Today says of Enforcer in their June 5 issue: Can a woman with a past ever have a future? If you're the heroine in Lauren Dane's ENFORCER, the answer is a resounding yes. Nina has made a lot of mistakes in her life, but she's turned herself around and become a woman to be proud of. She's insecure yet confident at the same time, an intoxicating mix that Lex can't resist. Lex is not used to having to explain himself to anyone, but he's definitely met his match in Nina. He doesn't know whether to throttle her or kiss her, but Lex knows that in order to gain Nina's trust, he's going to have to change the way he acts towards her. Ms. Dane allows readers to jump right into the story, rather than spending a lot of time explaining the hierarchy of the packs, instead describing them as they come up, which allows for a more action-packed tale.

I thoroughly enjoyed ENFORCER, the first in Lauren Dane's Cascadia Wolves series, and look forward to enjoying more from this up-and-coming author!

Thank you so much Talia and Courtney!!

Saturday, May 27, 2006

       Checkin In

I started the day yesterday a bit melancholy but it went away rather quickly, leaving me in a good mood. I felt more creative than I had in a while. As always, the shift between projects and genres takes me a bit of time but I hit my stride and I'm really happy right now.

So last night I got 2500 words into my quickie which I need to name and hope it'll come to me by the end. And as it's a super short (10 - 15K) I'll need to find that soon, LOL. I think Reluctant will be a part of the eventual title but I'm not sure what else will be with it. (As of right now, I'm at 5500 so I got another good chunk written during toddler naptime).

And then I shut down my laptop and hand wrote 85% of my detailed synopsis for Goddess With A Blade. A very good friend was kind enough to send me her entire proposal for a project so I could get an idea of how they work at that level of proposal. I'd only written synopses for EC and for finished projects so writing one based on a book that was only about 15K words completed so far was a bit of a mystery. Thank you oh unnamed friend! It was very helpful.

Cause, yes, I'm a pantser. But in this case, I'm finding synopsis writing/outlining really helpful because the story is unfolding for me in a way it doesn't normally and I'm quite enjoying that. So Rowan has just gotten back from Ireland in my synopsis and there's another dead body. This time she knows the victim. A romance keeps trying to brew and I'm not entirely sure I'll stop it. We'll see where it ends up when I'm finished because the numbers are not even and it's a very complicated situation. I don't know just yet. I'll let them convince me although I don't know if Rowan is convinced either.

Anyway, I'm still feeling sick, which sucks. Headache isn't quite as severe, eye jumping thing seems to have abated at last, nausea is fleeting but tiredness is still lurking. But I'm so pleased about this work getting done.

Friday, May 26, 2006

       Highly Effective Blogging

It's no secret that I think blogging, if done right, can be a great tool for an author. Some disagree and think it takes too much time away from writing and if that's the case, it's probably not for you. But, and I'm sure you can tell this, I don't spend much time on my entries.

Booksquare (a great blog and a daily read) has a link to this piece on Highly Effective Blogging. I think it's great advice.

Y'all don't come here for craft advice, LOL - so what do you come here to find? And why do you come back?


I've decided to write a quickie prequel for the Autumn Animalia series about the bond between Layla Warden (Lex and Tracy's sister) and her mate Sid - and their Tri Bond, heh.

I just decided this yesterday and I need to get moving on it and get it written and submitted ASAP! But I just thought I'd let you all know it was coming because I've gotten like thirty emails about it, asking if I wrote about them elsewhere or if I planned to. So ask and you shall receive! (well, if they contract it that is)

Oh and I'm up to 20K words on Threat of Darkness (Jayce and Mei's book) and I hope to be finished (or rather, I promised to be finished) by the end of June. SO, I'm gonna be a very busy girl! I'd forgotten how much I liked Jayce and all that red hair and the warrior's braids. Yum. Celts. Yum. Fae. Yum.

My husband made lattes before he left for work (I do love that man) but he left his here in his rush to get out the door. So I'm drinking it now alongside my chai. Course I'll need the energy because my oldest is home from school today and the fighting between him and his brother has already started and I'm pretending to ignore most of it. Sigh. And their sister is scolding them. My husband said, "she's bossy." I blame him, cause I am sweetness and light. (bwah!)

How is everyone's Friday so far?

Wednesday, May 24, 2006


Much has been made about the "respectability" of the romance genre and how the presence of erotic or hot romance "demeans" that.

And I've been puzzling over this for a bit now because I find the perspective incomprehensible and yet fascinating. (much like someone who says they like freedom of speech but tells a moderator she should have reined people's posts in)

Romance has problems with respectability for a host of reasons, most of them occurring before erotic became the newhotthing. The truth is (and wow, if this hasn't occurred to people I don't know what to think) women are marginalized every day in just about every way.

Romance is a predominantly woman fueled genre. We write it, we read it and we edit and sell it. Our fantasies and thoughts are always demeaned as less important than those literary pursuits of men. This is not new.

Romance is viewed as silly. And you know what? A lot of it is. And who fucking cares? Seriously. Like I need to make excuses because I want a little fluff after listening to my kids snipe at each other all day? Like it's a crime to want something you don't have to work too hard on at the end of a day? And you don't think there's fluff written for men? Come on! So he's a detective instead of a bakery owner - and? Like the presence of a penis and a typewriter makes him more respectable? A small percentage of books that are written are important in the sense that they change the world. I like to read those too. But they're not the only thing I want to read.

Women's fantasies are often maligned. Should I feel bad that I write something that gives my readers a happy ending? A hero who wants to share the heroine's troubles and doesn't leave his beard hairs in the sink? If I'm supposed to, too bad. Because I don't. My romance novels are supposed to be entertaining. Yes, I do hope to make people think, my books often contain larger social issues in some form, but escapism is important too.

And women's sexual fantasies are co-opted and dismissed. Co-opted and twisted by a lot of sexually graphic material and aimed at men. And you know, I'm not dissing men, I love men and I live with three of them (okay, not like THAT, that's a great idea for a book though!). But most sexual material is created for men. So the women are often props instead of participants and very rarely the focus.

But erotic romance puts the spotlight on the woman and her fantasies. It celebrates the sexually independent woman who isn't afraid of pleasure. That is threatening on many levels. In romantica, she's the center of the action.

So of course it's maligned and dismissed. It's the "achilles heel" of romance, it's the end of the genre, it's porn, it's dragging down the respectability of the genre (which we've established already has a problem with being taken seriously so it's not a valid argument anyway). The worst thing for me is when other female romance authors make these arguments because they always strike me as specious and defensive and hostile.

We in romance are like the Mary Kay ladies. People love to make fun of the Mary Kay ladies but hello, the Mary Kay corp makes a hella big profit every year. People may make fun of romance but we dominate the market, someone's buying our books.

So you know, I'll take my royalty statements over respectability. That's just me. I'm a smart woman with lots of letters behind my name and I love to read and write romance. I'm not going to apologize for either and neither should anyone else. Regencies, Greek Tycoons, erotic romance, contemps about NASCAR - I don't care, sod respectability, let's just enjoy what we do and stop attacking each other.


Sword and Crown

Zokutou word meter
36,500 / 35,000

And a bit more even. Relief. I was a bit surprised by the end, some stuff sort of snuck up on me but I'm pleased with it. I'll definitely write fantasy again, but this time I'll do it novel length so I have more space to explore the universe. I really loved Rhea though and Jax is yummy so I'm a happy woman.

Now I'm ready to move onto something else. Taking Chase needs finishing and I also need to finish my proposal/partial of Goddess With a Blade, too. As I'm sort of in a magic state of mind I may finish up my GWAB stuff first. I'll have to decide when I'm done with my edits of S&C and send it to my editor.

I believe I may have convinced Anya and Megan to do Emerald City with me in October. Hee! Mavs in the house. And Samantha told me about the coolest wine that I want to put in a themed prize basket.

I'm off, I need more caffeine. (yes, I heard you snickering, I am indeed off, I can't help it. But I'm also signing off.)

Oh and PS - Lydia Joyce you probably don't even read this blog but I wanted to say to you - Smart women kick ass. Never hide your intelligence. It's just petty when people try to tear you down because you're smarter than they are.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

       Words Have Meaning

People are aware of the existence of things called dictionaries right? Because there seems to be this feeling that one can just toss out words whether the meaning applies or not.

Opinion: A belief or conclusion held with confidence but not substantiated by positive knowledge or proof.

Fact: Knowledge or information based on real occurrences.

So the difference is - if I say something like, "Oh EC authors get paid nothing and they sell no books at all" and I'm not an EC author or have no Fact to base that statment on, it's not just an Opinion but an incorrect opinion.


Realistic: Tending to or expressing an awareness of things as they really are.

So to say that someone spewing incorrect opinions was only attempting to give a "realistic viewpoint" is wrong.

There are other examples but I'll bite my tongue about them because I'm really trying to watch what I say (grr).

Yes, I have a bit of an anal nature about words. I'm a word whore and a control freak - I totally admit it. And I promise to never, ever go back to a certain message board, even if I do read it in Karen's blog and I'm dying to go. It's not good for my blood pressure.


Hiya! This morning I'm hanging out at Novelspotters from the 9 - 10 spot (noon to one eastern) talking about my upcoming Samhain release, Giving Chase. Come and hang out!

Monday, May 22, 2006

       Oh Yeah!

Sword and Crown
Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
30,000 / 35,000

I kicked ass last night, wooooooot!

In other news, connected to the whole fangirl discussion taking place on various blogs, I will admit to being a Susan Elizabeth Phillips fangirl. I love that she writes heroines you don't really like at first. She makes them so three dimensional that you fall in love by the end of the book. Sugar Beth, I think, from Ain't She Sweet is the best example but certainly there are many secondary characters that she turns into main characters that would qualify.

What I like is that she consistently tells a non traditional romance story with unexpected characters and that is sooooo rare. I admire that, as a writer and a reader and I aspire to do half as well.

So when I got Fancy Pants I was all set to love it as I always do but I have to tell you, I just didn't. It wasn't awful, hell, most authors should aspire to do as well as this book. But it just didn't do anything for me. I didn't like the secondary character, Dallie's wife and I had a really difficult time overcoming her presence. There was too much, a secret pregnancy, which I rarely enjoy and I didn't this time either. I do like the way SEP handled the son, it wasn't the usual have a kid and stash him off in a nursery somewhere while the parents went about life as if they didn't have kids. But I just didn't like Dallie. I thought he was an ass. I think, coming from reading two really wonderful SEP books in the last month (Match Me and This Heart of Mine), might have been an influence. Anyway, FP is long and it happens over many years and there are wonderful characters who I probably would have loved in other circumstances but I have to say Fancy Pants has been my least favorite SP since Breathing Room. Won't stop her from being an auto buy for me though. I still think she's an amazing writer and putting out books that keep romance interesting and worth reading.

Started Master of Wolves last night after I shut my laptop down. I love Angela Knight.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

       Woo! Over Halfway There!

Sword and Crown
Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
23,000 / 35,000

And now, more magic, more sex and the showdown with the big bad. I'd hoped to be about another 3K ahead by this point in the weekend but I didn't get much writing done in the daytime yesterday and last night I honed the big scene, which I quite like. Still, I'll be finished by Monday night, Tuesday at the latest.

The struggle has been pacing because as I've said, I don't normally write novellas. I'm tempted to go into too much detail on external stuff - which I can do in my novels. But I like the intensity of focus in a novella. I just don't know if I'll be doing any more until the end of summer/beginning of fall.

I like trying new things. Sudden Desire is my first quickie (12K words) and Sleight of Hand was my first novella at 25K so the challenge with S&C was in being more detailed but not too detailed that I didn't keep the focus on Rhea and Jax. It's fun and I learn new things as I go and it keeps me from being bored.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

       Saturday Hello

Closing in on the home stretch in Sword and Crown - I'm in the middle of a sex scene that is so far eight pages long and it's only just starting. I know, it's a novella and I usually keep things a bit shorter than a 20 page sex scene but this one is big and important and it may just end up being 20 pages long after all, LOL.

Oh, guilty pleasure admission three hundred and twelve - I watched the "Ultimate Coyote Ugly Search" show on CMT. It's horrifying and fascinating. It ended last week. I'd still not go into a CU bar or anything but I'll admit that dancing on a bar isn't as easy as it looks, even when you shake your boobs. Or maybe especially when you do because I'm a good dancer but not coordinated enough to avoid bottles, glasses, people's hands and still not fall off the bar.

But why do people refer to grown women in these kinds of contests as "girls?" You see it in beauty contests and in model search stuff too. It bugs me. The language de-womanizes them. And okay, so there was all this talk about how "Coyote Girls" were "real women" which bugged me a lot. Not that you can't be sexy and be a woman, you certainly can! And not that you're bad for wanting to work at CU or anything. But infantalizing women with language and then saying that is womanly? That jumps on my last nerve. Truthfully, the women, especially the ones in the last group, were smart and hardworking and pretty damned talented - especially the one that won.

The show ended up in New Orleans, the finale would take place at the grand re-opening of the bar there. Seeing New Orleans so normal in one area and still totally devastated elsewhere just breaks my heart. I'm glad to see normalcy returning in dribs and drabs but I wish it got more attention. It's such a magical place.

I think they should have RT in NOLA.

I got several really wonderful notes from readers this last week and I just want to say how much it means when someone takes time out of their day to write me or to post at my loop or come to a chat. It's really touching and I appreciate it so much. So thank you, all of you.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

       On "Anonymity"

People responding anonymously on internet message boards and blogs is nothing new. I used to be more uncomfortable with it than I am now. Because before I started this writer gig, I was more than free with my opinions (and you aren't now? I can hear you asking).

While in general, I do think it's just best to say it and put your name up there, there are times when I just won't reply at all, even when I really want to, because I have to be mindful of this public persona thing.

Not that I'm a shy virgin or anything. I talk shit with the best of them. I'm mouthy and opinionated and I don't usually hesitate to tell people to fuck off. And yep, there are people who think I'm a foul mouthed feminist pornographer. And I am two of those three.

But recently, I've seen several cases in which authors reply anonymously and while I'm uncomfortable about it, I can see why they do it. I don't agree with the anonymous commenter at AAR who bashes erotic romance and accuses us all of all sex no plot even when she admits she doesn't read the genre. But I can see why she won't put her name up.

We have this silly, but totally important thing which is public perception. I can skate the lines and flout the rules but after a certain point, I'm committing career suicide, even if I feel really strongly about something. And that sucks because just because I write books doesn't mean I don't have opinions about things! But you don't want to know what Lauren Dane thinks about George Bush and so I have a private journal for that stuff.

And you probably do want to know which authors I think are fake assed suck up bitches. That would send my hits through the roof! But in the end, it would be a "really bad thing" and so I don't do it. Or I save it for Anya and Megan who listen to me cause they're saints.

Anyway, I'm sort of babbling but this issue has been on my mind lately.

       May 21 Book Signing Cancelled

Just an FYI - due to distribution problems (for both authors) the book signing in Silverdale for Sunday the 21 is cancelled.

We'll reschedule later in the summer/early fall.

       It's The Topic That Never Ends

Excellent discussions 'round the internets today on sex in romances.

I started with Jaynie, who led me to Alison, who led me to Lydia and then Julie and back to AAR where Karen Scott put up a great post a few days back regarding the Blaze "is not a romance" debacle from the RITAs.

And there's this comment - which first makes this statement about Karen's post - "I think we can safely say that the column is nothing more than a flagrant attempt at garnering attention and fanning a flame war." Like the very mention of someone caling a HARLEQUIN romance "not a romance" because it has sex in it is blasphemous or something.

Anon then goes on to make the point about these thin lipped anti sex people perfectly. You see here, she conflates porn with erotic romance several times. She makes sweeping generalizations about sex at the expense of plot (and then says she "understands the appeal" but the books wouldn't be her first choice). My question is - if she doesn't read the genre, how the fuck does she know what's in or not in the books?

Look, I read a lot of romance and there are shitty books that lack plot across the genre. Just because there's no sex doesn't mean there's a plot, by the way. So why assume that because there is sex it's at the "expense" of plot?

This is precisely why there needs to be an erotic category in the RITAs. That way no one has to sully their minds by reading my smutty, pornographic books which lack plot, or Alison's (and her Blazes rank among my very favorites ever), or anyone elses.

But I'd like to say that anyone who believes sex isn't romantic is missing out on some really great sex. Even when my characters have down and dirty sex, it's romantic and connected. Because sex a great medium for connection and romance.

And what matters most is not what anon thinks, but that the genre is read by many, many readers and it's insulting to them more than to me or any other author - to constantly refer to them as porn hounds who care about nothing more than pink parts touching.

If you don't like it, don't read it! It's that simple. It really is.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

       Hump Day Goodness

I feel accomplished today. I finished the big edits for GC last night and got them to my editor and then I turned back to Sword and Crown and got some really good work in on it as well. In fact, I plotted out the big scene where Rhea finally lets Jax back into her heart. I can't wait to write it. I have about four thousand words or so until I get there. So by the weekend I'll be ready for it.

I also got out the May issue of Vixenwriter earlier today and put up an excerpt of Sudden Desire up at my myspace and LJ page. I don't do excerpts here because there's no way to put the text behind a cut which is annoying. But it's free and we can't have everything in life can we.

Washingtonians! I'm doing a booksiging with the marvelous Charlene Teglia this Sunday, May 21 from 1 - 3 at the Waldenbooks at the Kitsap Mall in Silverdale. I'd love to meet those of you I haven't yet and say hello to those I've been lucky enough to meet before.

I'm chatting tomorrow at Novel Talk with my fellow sisters in trouble, Megan Hart and Anya Bast - also known as the Maverick Authors. 6 pm pacific/9 eastern. Come on out. Our chats are always fun. And usually sort of on the verge of chaos. But we give prizes out.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

       Finished With Round One

Slumps over. Whew! I just finished and sent off my edits for Giving Chase back to my editor. As edits go, this on was pretty comprehensive, but I'm pretty darned happy with the results.

Now I'm back to Sword and Crown (which I feel breathing down my neck with that Jun 1 deadline!) I've plotted a bit during the time I've been doing these edits so I feel ready to go.

My middle kiddo is at his kindergarten roundup with my husband right now. I can't believe he'll be five in two months. Man, where does the time go?

Okay, so I have to go - my kitchen is a mess (always) and I need to make dinner before my kids tear the place up.

Monday, May 15, 2006

       Monday Type Stuff

Smart Bitches ask about the lack of mothers or positive mother/daughter relationships in romance novels. Anya Bast does at her loop as well.

Yeah, I do see a lack of positive mother/daughter relationships in many books. One thing though, people complain when you put them in too. In a review of Touch of Fae, the reviewer took issue with the fact that there wasn't enough family drama (although, to be honest, HELLO, the book is about a woman trying to assert her indivduality in a family of strong women, she just did it without a lot of drama). Anyway, the Charvez women have a great relationship with each other and their mothers and grandmothers.

And in Giving Chase, Maggie has a strained relationship with her mother and sister but Polly Chase, Kyle's mother, is wonderful and supportive and becomes a surrogate mother figure in her life.

It's hard to write family relationships that don't sound overly dramatic, pollyannaish or just boring. And mother daughter relationships are so complicated!

From Booksquare, a link to an NYT article about literary friendships. I'm fortunate in this way. It's incredibly special to have friends who go through what you do and who can support you and understand you enough to also kick your ass when you're being pissy. I love to hang out with other writers, it's a wonderful thing. And my friendship with the other Mavericks has turned into something really unique and wonderful. It's not fragile at all, btw, but none of us is. Anyway, the article linked (about a book about author friendships) is interesting. I may come back to this later this week but i have a doctor's appointment and lunch to make so I'll be off for now.

Behave yourselves while I'm gone, please. Sheesh.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

       Happy Mother's Day! (and other assorted meanderings)

I got to sleep in this morning and yesterday (8:30 today and 8 yesterday which seems so early but to me, these days, is a luxury). It's gorgeous outside and I wander downstairs to find chocolates, pretty undies (I lurve me some pretty panties, I'm a lingerie whore), hand made cards from each kiddo and Burt's Bees lip gloss (and uh, I'm a lip gloss whore too. Simple pleasures, that's me). Last night I got an ice cream cake. A Ben and Jerry's ice cream cake with Phish Food on one layer and vanilla on the other in a bed of crushed chocolate cookies, with chocolate ganache on top. I'm a lucky woman.

Happy Mother's Day to all of you out there reading!

I went to dinner last night with some friends and had an absolutely lovely time. We talked about writing and moving and crazy people. I also came to the conclusion that we need to have a Seattle area writerly gathering like once a month. Just meet for dinner and talk about writing. I'm going to think about it a bit and try and plan something so keep your eye out for my announcement.

I'm still editing. Revising really. But I'm liking my heroine even more this round. Fleshing her out a bit. Making her stronger and more three dimensional. Then I need to finish Sword and Crown. And then hopefully my edits for Vengeance Due will be here and I can get them finished and get a release date. And then? I don't know just yet. I have several projects I need to finish so I'll choose when I get on the other side of all this stuff that needs to be done ASAP.

I'm off, I think I want to take the kiddos on a nice walk in the gorgeous sunshine. Have a great day!

Friday, May 12, 2006

       New Review for Sleight of Hand!

Lil at Love Romances gives Sleight of Hand four hearts and says in part: This was a tightly written tale and was especially impressive in leaving no loose threads for such a short offering. Readers will be thrilled with this spunky heroine and her particular brand of sarcasm. Opportunities in arguments to turn the tables on the hero are not wasted. It was particularly refreshing to see a heroine that did not allow for fundamental issues of the relationship to be glossed over with sex. On the contrary, the hero was taken to account regarding differences in viewpoint. Xander for his part is fun to watch as he moves from arrogance to something closer to accommodation. Difficulties in facing the dichotomy of his memories of the gentle mother of his childhood and the vindictive woman scorned are handled credibly. Not being a fool, he understands exactly how well matched his love and he are…it just takes him a bit of time to convince Lissette of this. The sex scenes sizzle. This is a very satisfying read and definitely recommended.

Thank you so much, Lil!


Good Friday Morning, everyone! Thanks to all of your for your kind words of congratulations, they mean so much to me.

So Tracy gave me a head's up and my cover for Sudden Desire is on the Coming Soon Page at EC. I think I need to send an email to the Art Department so I can get one sent to me to update my website and blog, etc.

I'm editing. I'd say editing hell but it's really not. A lot of work, yes, but dare I say it? I think I'm used to this now and it's just another layer of writing a book. I like Angie, my editor at Samhain, a lot. I'm pretty lucky with Ann, my EC editor and Angie - having an editor you like and respect and who respects you is priceless.

I'm having dinner tomorrow night with Samantha! How fun! And then I think we'll do something family oriented on Sunday during the day.

My husband brought me home flowers last night as a "happy one year publishing anniversary" present. Again, I must say it, he's a keeper.

Okay, so I haven't followed American Idol that closely this season, I caught it here and there but that's during my writing time and so I usually work instead. But I saw the last moments on Wednesday when they announced Chris was cut. And hello? Aside from being totally shocked that the guy with the most regularly demonstrated talent and charisma got kicked off instead of the chick who is moderately okay, was it just me or was Ryan Seacrest sort of nasty when he told Chris he'd been cut? It just seemed totally mean, the way he made it sound like he was going to say, "go sit down you're safe" but instead said, "you're going home." And I know people are exited about the offer to sing lead for Fuel, but um, well, where has Fuel been the last what, ten years? Anyway, he's a talented guy and he's gotten a lot of exposure and I hope he can work it into something big for himself. But it felt like back in season one when Tamayra got cut and that doofus Nikki got to stay - it makes no sense.

I read Definitely Dead this last week and I liked it. I know some folks have not liked it at all but I'll do a review next week about it and say why I did like it. Now I have to pretend Broken isn't in my TBR pile so I can finish my edits.

Anyone doing anything exciting this weekend?

Thursday, May 11, 2006

       Hey! One Year Ago Today

Triad released. My first novel and it's still my sentimental favorite.

I want to thank those of you who've taken the time to send me notes about my books, who've reviewed them, who've commented here or at the loops - your feedback is so important to me and that you'd share your thoughts is really special to me.

One year - ten contracted books and five books published. It's been a really good year for me, and a really bad one too. It's been tough in many parts but you've all stuck with me and my true friends and my family have been a great support and I just appreciate it all so very much.

This crazy dream of mine to be a writer has actually come true. And that is amazing to me. Thank you for helping me make that happen.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

       New Voice Spotlight!

Well hey now, I'm a New Voice. Not so new, but I suppose in the big scheme of things I am relatively speaking new to writing. Tomorrow it'll be one year since the publication of Triad. Sniffle.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

       A Whole Lot of Stuff About Nothing

Blogger is being very snotty this morning. I suspect it needs chocolate.

I wish I knew why David Blaine being in a tank of water warranted all that time on the news. Not like there's anything important to report on or anything. I could see if we were at war or had an energy crisis or some weird bird flu was looming. But as none of those things are happening, I suppose it's great that we spend all that time on just how pruny David Blaine's hands were when they pulled him out of the tank.

Oh see, apparently blogger isn't the only snotty one today. And I always need chocolate.

Oh! And another thing- tazo is no longer making decaf chai tea! What is up with that? People, I drink like six cups a day. Six cups of caffeinated tea does not make for a pleasant Lauren experience. Cause, well, you may have noticed but I'm already sort of hyper as it is. All that caffeine would prompt my husband to start hiding the tea, or start doping me up secretly.

So my husband came home yesterday with four boxes of it. He's been looking in every Starbucks he comes across and they've all been out. But yesterday he hit the jackpot. He's a keeper.

I watched this documentary last night with Jamie Oliver (used to do the Naked Chef show on Food TV) and he's going around Britain trying to make the food served to children in schools more healthy. He's a good guy on top of being so cute I want to adopt him. It's shocking that the schools are supposed to feed children on 37 p a day (65 cents) and we're not much better. I will say that while I pack lunch for my oldest most days, this year his school has really revamped their menu to include more whole grains and fresh fruit and veggies. It's hard to get your kids to eat better, some days the struggle exhausts me and I give in (I told you, mother of the year, people).

This is a whole lot of stuff about nothing. And now I need to sign off for a while.

Monday, May 08, 2006

       Monday Ruminations on Craft and Learning

This weekend I wrote ten thousand words. I'm pretty excited by that, it's the most I've written in two weeks. The stress freeze of the whole agent pitch is like background noise now. But I started work on the follow up book to the romantic suspense one that's coming out next month from Samhain. I realized as I looked at it how far I'd come since I wrote it in late 2004/early last year. And I also thought, "fuck, if I try to edit around this it'll take me even longer than if I just pick up the threads and write it from scratch." That and I didn't so much like the heroine as I'd written her. I wanted her to be stronger.

Anyway, I got my first round of edits on Giving Chase back today. And I wrote that right around the time I wrote Triad. I'll get back to that in a moment.

Technically, my writing has really improved. And I owe that in large part to my first edits with Ellora's Cave. Now I usually do one round and a bit of follow up with word choice or small stuff. It's like 20% of what I went through with Triad. Because I can put sentences and dialog together better. My chief crime, the comma splice is almost totally gone. I think about how I'm going to give information to the reader so I don't vomit up backstory and drown the reader.

With Wolf, I tore it apart and spent so much time revising it I felt bloody at the end. It's really a different book than it was six months ago. It's better because I put so much fucking time into it. And I cut things I loved with a ruthless hand because they were unnecessary. But I'd rather write cleaner the first time out. The second book that comes after Wolf is a better book because I wrote it four months after I wrote Wolf. Just that time made the difference.

These are things I have learned through editing and writing a lot. I could not have learned this stuff from a book or a workshop. That's not how I learn. I have to do it instead of see it. Although I will say having really excellent crit helps immensely (an editor who doesn't try to change your voice but pushed you hard and an agent who was an editor in her past life). And it becomes just one more reason why I'm glad I got my start in epublishing because I had an editor who went through nine rounds of edits with me (no shit) and now we do two. She believed in me and damn if that didn't force me to be a better writer. Now I was able to send a book to NY that was worthy because I was better prepared and let's face it, a better writer than I was a year ago.

So back to Giving Chase, which is why I had this mini ephiphany - I have SO much work to do on the damned thing because I wrote it before I learned most of this stuff.

I doubt I'll be trying to resurrect old books. Instead I'll just use the first draft as an outline and write from scratch. It's really a better use of my time I think.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

       Woo! Google Treasure

You know what I love? When I google myself (that sounds so dirty) and find things like great reviews that I had no idea even existed.

Like this one for Enforcer at Erotic Escapades where Marie gives it Five Tattoos! She says in part: it's both characters' emotional growth and the intriguing elements of Ms. Dane's Cascadia Wolves: Enforcer that kept me reading and it's the promise of what's to come in the Cascadia Wolves series that will keep me coming back for more. So if you like werewolves and are a fan of Lauren Dane, then you'll want to be sure to pick up a copy of Enforcer

       Lucky Me!

Today I spent an hour at the Samhain Cafe (well longer than that actually) hanging out with Charlene Teglia and several other Samhellions as well as some really fun readers.

One thing i've never gotten over is the amazement I feel when I get to talk one on one to people whose books I read. I mean, I'm doing a booksiging with Chari next Sunday and dude if you haven't read her books, you definitely should! She and I were noobs at the same time and I just think she's a great writer and a really nice person too. And NJ Walters, okay, I remember back when I hadn't even subbed Triad, I read her at the EC chat board and thought, there is no way she's really that nice. But you know what? She totally is. NJ Walters is a genuinely nice person who also happens to be really talented.

And there are still times when say, Jaci Burton congratulated me on somethng recently (I can't remember what) that I get all, "OMG! JACI BURTON!! OMG!" LOL, of course I try to be all cool about it but it's freaking JACI BURTON!

Anyway, one of the coolest things about this writing gig is just how wonderful most of my fellow authors are. Like Daisy Dexter Dobbs - people, she got a less than wonderful review and her response was so classy and creative and fun that she took lemons and made pie and lemonade and a bunch of new fans. She's hilarious and her books are fab too.

I was telling Sasha White how when I saw her first comment here I was like, "SASHA WHITE COMMENTED HERE!" because I'd read her erotica and loved it. And I'm glad to be surrounded by such wonderfully talented people.

And look how Rene Lyons came over to my Myspace page and commented about my time today at the Samhain Cafe - how lovely that was! That kind of support is priceless and I appreciate it so much.

There are more authors like Anya Bast and Megan Hart who yeah, are my really good friends but damn people, you should read them both because they are GOOD.

Oh, but none of what we do would be possible without the readers. Sure, I can hang out and talk about books for an hour on a Saturday morning, I mean, aside from it being fun, I'm talking about my book. But that readers spend their valuable time to bother hanging out with us? To send notes and make comments about our books? It's so special and it still doesn't feel quite real when I hear from someone who's read one of my books (and who isn't my mom). How special are my readers who give of their time and presence just to hang out and be sure I'm not talking to an empty room?

Dude, I'm a lucky, lucky woman.

Friday, May 05, 2006


I'm just Postin' Patty today. But I forgot to say that I will be at the first ever Samhain Author's Day at the Sahmain Cafe tomorrow! The most wonderful Charli Teglia and I are holding down the noon eastern/9 am pacific hour but the day will be filled with much goodness so hang out!

Here's the schedule - all times are eastern
9:00am Tilly Greene/N J Walters
10:00am Barbara Sheridan/Silvia Violet
11:00am Mackenzie McKade/Vicki Gaia
12 noon Lauren Dane/Charlene Teglia
1:00pm Kim Rees/Sasha White
2:00pm Jennie Andrus/Patricia Parkinson
3:00pm Maya Banks/Beth Williamson
4:00pm Bobbie Cole/Alexis Fleming
5:00pm Ally Blue/Ellen Fisher
6:00pm Annmarie McKenna/Tia Bangs
7:00pm Arianna Hart/Ingela Hyatt
8:00pm Bianca D’Arc/Anne Whitfield
9:00pm Elisa Adams/Meg Allison

Oh and a public service annoucement - have you ever used one of those "magic eraser" things? Dude, they are a tool of satan. They cannot work as well as they do. What are they? I LOVE them. They are the best thing to hit my cleaning arsenal since cloth diapers (which are just perfect for most every cleaning job)

       Blog Of the Month

Oh! Well apparently my blog is up in a poll for May Blog of the Month at Fallen Angel Reviews. If you'd like to throw your vote my way, that would be lovely. However, there are also three other very fine blogs in the running including Alison Kent's, which is one of my favorites.

       Friday BlogORama!

So Stella Cameron sort of talks about the difference between erotica and literary porn at the Running With Quills blog. It is my general impression that she's knocking erotica/romantica but I'm not entirely sure and I read the darned thing three times. It sort of meanders.

But this paragraph is what gives me the perception - "And I’ll stoutly announce that while one story of pornography/erotica (Why don’t we drop “erotica” which is meant to soften the idea of pornography? Be proud of whatever skill you practice.)–anyway, I’ll argue that there will always be different levels of brilliance in any art form, but an ass is an ass . . . isn’t it?"

Uh, why don't I call my books something they aren't because you think I write porn? I am proud of the skills I practice. But creating porn isn't one of them.

As to the point of the entry, I could totally be misreading it, but I enjoy the discussion, the thinking over this stuff, nonetheless.

BUT, the comments are definitely interesting and worth a read. I know I've talked about this before (several times). But I suppose it sort of ties in with the review stuff - it's in the eye of the reader. To me, the difference between erotica and porn is quite obvious (although I have no beef with porn other than most of it being stupid, plotless and poorly made (Comstock Films being the BIG exception, their films are marvelous).

Anyway, I must say that I love Elizabeth Lowell now even more than I did before, which is hard to do because I think she's fabulous.

Oh! The new Pearl Jam is so excellent I've just been listening to it over and over and over. Seriously, now I do love this band with all my little fangirl heart but this record is the best since No Code. As a unit, everything comes together so well. I can't wait to see them live again (July 22nd, wooo!)

And the new Tool is amazing as well. Even better through headphones (as Tool always is, you miss so much through your stereo speakers). It hasn't been since Sleater Kinney's, The Woods came out that I've been so excited about new music.

I'm annoyed with Top Chef for their last cut. I won't spoil it for those who haven't seen it but man, they sent the wrong person home.

I took my middle child to get kindergarten registration paperwork yesterday. All this time I've been so excited about this but I did have a bittersweet moment when I realized that he was nearly five and it felt like I just gave birth to him last week. He's so grown up. And then I got over it and thought, "Woo! Only three more years until she's ready!" because I'm mother of the year, people.

I bought hello kitty tennis shoes for my daughter yesterday too. Because I can! (bwah!). I waited through the Star Wars and Spider Man and now I finally get to Hello Kitty and I'm going to let myself wallow in it, because I can only take so much gummy worm action and booger humor.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

There's a pretty interesting discussion of reviews going on in the Review thread below. You aren't obligated to discuss of course but a lot of different points have come up and I thought it was too good to just hide in the comments.

       Whew, The Dam Broke!

Well, as interesting as the world of bizarre celebrity behavior and reality television is, I got back to writing last night. I'd had a bit of a block from stress and just I think being generally fried with the completion of several big projects. I panicked at first but my very wise husband said, "don't let this not be a joyful thing. Just relax, read and watch tv and it'll come back."

And it did. Last night I got back to Sword and Crown, which I opened every day for the past week and a half and just stared at, unable to connect with Rhea at all. But last night I was able to see through her eyes again and I got some good work done. Whew!

This is good of course as I have a June 1 deadline for the whole manuscript and they named the series "Torrid Tarot" and are designing covers for the stories already contracted (that would be me). I can't wait to see what they come up with. The Queen of Swords is such a great card!

While having this mini vacation I finished several books in my TBR pile:

Micah by LKH - here's the thing, it got a 2 from Mrs. Giggles and I think that's grossly unfair. Not because it was that wondeful of a book but it wasn't a 2. It wasn't a bad book, not really. It's just that I get tired of Anita never growing. I do however like her men a lot and think they should all be MY harem.

Don't Look Down by Jenny Crusie and Bob Mayer - I wrote a review of it a week back or so here. I liked it!

I re-read Lover Eternal by JR Ward. I have kinder feelings than I did the first time around. I really love JR Ward's worldbuilding. I love the heroes (except for the hip hop speak, which grates - I don't want to hear a 400 year old warrior vamp say "true dat" not ever). Some folks said they didn't feel the chemistry between Mary and Rhage, I saw it. I like Rhage. I am REALLY looking forward to the next book because Zhadist and Bella had chemistry enough for twelve city blocks. And okay, so I have a weak spot for tortured heroes. I know some people have said she's ripping off Kenyon but I don't agree. Yes, there are similarities but you know what? Sherrilyn Kenyon is sort of the queen of paranormal romance fiction. It's impossible not to have some similarities but truly, I think Ward did her own work. However, Mary drove me nuts! Everyone else, I dug.

Urban Shaman by CE Murphy - I quickly read this book last June but I re-read it this week and now I have to get the next one. Because it's a wonderful book and rich in detail and imagery and a truly amazing heroine. If you haven't read it yet, you should.

Movie wise - I finally saw the Village. It was entertaining. I know people like to hate on Shamalan but I was seriously creeped out and as I'm apparently the only person on planet earth that didn't know the twist, it did catch me by surprise. A nice Saturday afternoon movie.

I also caught up on all the past episodes of Top Chef that I missed. I love that show and I heard they have a second season planned! Yay!!

So this weekend it's author photos and family pictures (dang, I have to do my roots today!) More writing, time with the family and brunch with several of my girlfriends that I haven't seen in ages!

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

       Red Sonja

So I have a deep love for the Red Sonja books and comics. I think she's marvelous. Strong, smart, fearless and totally sexy.

Look at her!
I mean, sure, she's easy on the eyes but damn, look at that blades! The gloves - she's not just a piece of fluff to stand next to Arnold. She's a warrior in her own right and I LOVE that.

I have this on my desktop as I write Goddess With A Blade. Rowan isn't Red Sonja, but she's got those qualities that make me love both of them.

So when my friend John sent me a link to this fabulous article about Red Sonja in Sequential Tart, I knew I'd have to share it with all of you, too. Because it rocks and I love ST.

Happy Reading!

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

       And A Little Rain Must Fall

So you know all those great reviews I've been getting? Yeah, nice huh? And so, as an author, when I get a lot of really great reviews in a row, I begin to wait because I know the bad one is lurking out there.

And today I saw it. Cringe. See, the thing is, there's no point in being hurt by it, even when it gives away key plot points (spoilers) and various other things I don't consider all that accurate a picture of what the book actually says and does. (BTW, I edited this sentence to be more clear)

So okay, I get that not everyone is going to like my books, that's life and it keeps you grounded. And unlike some authors, I won't say that all reviews should be nice because romance authors are too sweet and fragile to take one in the crotch. Sucks that not everyone loves me, because they totally should, damnit!

(And I'm not saying this is a terrible awful review, btw. It's a bad review, no doubt.)

Monday, May 01, 2006

       In Which Lauren Gets Out the Soapbox and Then Has to Be Circumspect

I hate it when I want to talk smack and I come here to do it and then I remember that I'm not supposed to. Sigh. So in the interests of trying to remember that I'm somewhat of a public figure and I'm supposed to be all circumspect and shit, I'll be somewhat veiled and try to say it without saying it. Sigh.

I see stuff happen and I'm incredulous. I mean, fer cripes' sake, people, get that stick out of your butt and deal! If you don't like sex in books, don't read books with sex in them. But why does that seem like such an impossible thing for folks to learn?

But instead, it seems like they read it two extra times, just to be good and sure they're offended and then they cry and rail about THE CHILDREN and THE FUTURE OF ROMANCE because the pornographers are all out to drag it down into their disgusting smutty little world. (by the way, we have candy and Jude Law down here so there)

And people, lemme tell you a few things - first, ain't no one gonna take romance where romance readers don't want to go. Romance readers seem to like some spice with their sweet. And those that don't still have fourteen shelves full of stuff that closes the bedroom door. This is not a threat. This is the market.

Second - sex is not disgusting and immoral and contrary to romance. I don't know what kind of sex these folks are having but even when my characters are having really naughty sex, they're still having romance. Sex is wonderful and beautiful and FUN. Yes, that's right, FUN. Jeebus, it's more fun than a bike ride on a Sunday afternoon. More fun that shopping for shoes. And a great way to connect with your romantic partner.

However if you have a problem with the description of graphic sex scenes in your romances, please refer to the "don't read them" portion above.

Third - sharing the market with something does not make that thing your enemy. Get over it.

Fourth - stop it. Just let there be an erotic/sensual category in the Ritas for goodness' sake. And stop reading steamy romances if you are one who hates the books and thinks they aren't romance. That's not fair and you aren't doing your job as a judge. (oh, did I say that out loud?)

Different strokes people. That's what makes the world go round. Things that ring my bell won't necessarily be your cuppa. And that's fine. Because there are readers who like what I write and readers who like what you write. But don't you dare start speaking in sweeping generalizations that minimize what I do and by extrapolation, who my readers are. My readers are wonderful people who love romance. It's too easy for some to forget that the reader is what fuels romance as a genre. Stop insulting them and be happy with yourselves.

       You Like Me! You Really Like Me!

First, Five Kisses From Karen at Romance Divas - I love it so much when people get what I'm trying to do, makes me think I did it right! Thank you, Karen!! - "Enforcer is a sizzling hot erotic romance from Lauren Dane. The story is fast paced and well told, bringing a skillful balance of danger and desire to life. Lauren Dane has created a smoking hot hero with Lex, one that lovers of paranormal romance will be drooling over long after finishing the story. Her heroine is likeably flawed, believably strong, and every bit a passionate match for Lex as they sizzle their way from cover to cover.

The Cacadia Pack stories are off to a fantastic start with this tale. I'll be eagerly waiting for their stories to continue in future books."

4 1/2 Stars from Keely at Ecataromance for Enforcer. This one is such a great review, it's impossible to just find a bit to put up because she's woven a recap with something about my writing too. That's great and so rare in reviews. So thank you, Keely! Here's a bit from the end of the review - "Ms. Dane's story line sweeps me along at a perfect pace and keeps me glued to the pages. (So much so that I was up until the wee hours of the morning on a work night!) While I am glued to the pages, she treats me to bone meltingly decadent love scenes that are in danger of catching my curtains on fire! Ms. Dane has a wonderful knack for creating male characters that you want to hug and smack up-side the head at the same time; just like the real thing. I have high hopes that this is book one in a long series.