Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Eve and World Hunger

The title of my post sounds awfully momentous. I can't possibly write anything that lives up to it.

I hope you all are having a great holiday. I'm feeling super blessed this year. Disney gave us an entire week off, starting today. I work with an awesome group of creative and interesting people. I had money to buy gifts. Everyone I love is well and as happy as can be expected. My house will be full on Christmas day. A tiny dog is curled against my thigh as I type on my new MacBook Pro. I simply can't believe how lucky I've been.

So my early New Year resolution is to take steps to give other people as great a year as I've had. Despite the fact that I've no idea how to do this.

Luckily, Nathan Bradford posted a link to Heifer International on his blog. Y'all probably already knew that you can give a cow, goat, sheep, pig or whatever, to a needy family but I didn't. I've decided that since my sister beat me to the punch and already gave my mother an ereader, I'm going to give a goat to a family in her name. Neat.

As the week progresses, I hope to find other ways to give (hopefully not as expensive). I do plan a post-christmas give-away of my books as well.

Don't eat too much gingerbread. That stuff is dangerous.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

book give away! Death by Misfortune

Wander on over to 'Stumbling Over Chaos' and win a free copy of Death by Misfortune! Chris has been kind enough to run the contest on her blog.

Or maybe Chaos, the cat, is running it. I often wonder who is in charge over there.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Death by Misfortune's first review!

Auntie Lynn, at Reviews by Jessewave, gave 'Death by Misfortune' five stars here.

Very nice of her and she did a thorough job reviewing a complex book so I'm very grateful.

I have four books simmering on the burners right now, the sequel to DbM being on 'low'. They are:

Sequel to "Son of a Gun" called "The Unmapped Country"
Sequel to "Death by Misfortune" called "I Dead Things"
Another Adam-the-vampire book called "Till Death Us Do Part" (this one is not even simmering at the moment, it's going to be a while)
And a new one called "If Not for You". Which I keep thinking I'm going to finish by the end of the month... and then something happens at work and I revise that thought.

My question is which would you rather see first? The 'Son of a Gun' sequel or the 'Death by Misfortune' sequel. Keeping in mind that my writing schedule looks like its been through a blender...

Sunday, December 12, 2010

The magic bunny and the dust bunny try to save my Droid from the twitter demon.

Accompanied by an orchid fairy and a crow.

And a happy rock.

What can I say? Things are slow at work...

Saturday, December 11, 2010

MLR authors at Love Romance Cafe

We are there. I posted something. There's a bunch of wild and crazy people exchanging info and recipes and God knows what else.

Come join us if you dare.

Friday, December 10, 2010

I'm not anti-social

I have accounts on all the social networks that I've neglected off and on for the past year or so. It's not that I don't like people, I'm just a little shy of the internet.

And I have a problem with names. In real life, the real world where flesh and blood people talk to me daily, I have a problem remembering their names. I'm not a name-oriented person. I'll remember that their favorite flower is a hyacinth, or that their oldest son is at Vassar, or that they collect shoes... but I'll stand there and stammer and hem and haw when it's time to introduce them at a party because I can't, for the life of me, recall their name.

And then we have the internet where LG Bean is also Beanie is also LGB is also Sam. And is referred to frequently as both he AND she and has an alter ego who lives in Montreal. It is far far beyond my meager name-recall faculties to cope.

And the internet seems to be as moody and tidal as a teenager. I'm almost afraid to post lest I stick my finger in some brewing tempest.

I'm an internet wallflower. But its the holiday season and everybody is blogging and partying and decking the halls and I feel kind of like a girl with an empty dance card. So. Tomorrow I understand LRC (??? Love Romance Cafe I presume) is having an MLR author day and I shall be there with bells on.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Death by Misfortune is available today from MLR Press as an ebook here.

Bill Turner, the closeted detective from "Amor en Retrogrado" and his partner, Kate Crandall, investigate the murder of a minor celebrity and soon find themselves up to their eyeballs in Hollywood secrets.

There's a lengthy excerpt at the MLR press site.

I've been working on this book simply for ages. The primary couple from AeR are NOT in this book, but Bill and his lover are. It has an enormous cast of characters, and I really enjoyed writing about the 'Hollywood' that I experience daily.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

quoting from the HRC campaign's flyers:

Yesterday, a record number of openly LGBT candidates prevailed, including newly elected David Cicilline (D) of Rhode Island, Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO), and Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA). So. Yay.

The National Organization for Marriage (NOM) spent millions, and although they ousted three Iowa judges who ruled for marriage equality, many of their favored candidates lost – like Tea Party darlings Christine O'Donnell in Delaware (who founded a group to "cure" homosexuality) and Sharron Angle in Nevada (who refused donations from pro-equality companies), as well as Carly Fiorina and Meg Whitman in California and Carl Paladino in New York. The man who likened homosexuality to alcoholism, Colorado's Ken Buck, also went down in defeat.

Proving, I think, that in the USA extremists and bigots are still universally distrusted and disliked.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

What's the worst that could happen?

I saw an article recently, written by a UK citizen. After their midterms and preceding ours he philosophized about people seeing the world from the blindness of a comforting ideology. And, as I watch the votes rolling in and I shudder and cringe at the sort of people we are now sending to Washington, I'm thinking about my own comforting ideology.

You see, I think I'm safe.

I don't think religious extremists are going to jail me for believing other than they do. I don't think political demigods will take over my government and send dissenters to some sort of Gulag. I don't think I will be executed for 'choosing' to love the wrong person.

And honestly you know, most of the crackpots will be ineffective. They'll make a lot of speeches and probably attract a lot of press. But in the end, they don't know how to govern and they'll waste their time and the tax payers money and then they will go away.

And the rich will get richer and the poor will become less educated and poorer and have less and less of a chance of climbing out of the hole they are in. The worst that can happen is what has been happening for some time. Electing people supported by big moneyed corporations (and seriously? who do you think supports this new Tea Party movement?) will only bring us more of the same.

I feel for the kids who's parents can't afford private school. I feel for the people struggling to make a better life for their family in this country. I feel for the individual struggling against the megabucks corporation. I can't believe they are stupid enough to vote for the monster that will eat them. But it looks like they are.

So, what's the worst that can happen? We will get exactly what we deserve.

But what if I'm wrong?

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

DADT ... going.. going...


Friday, October 8, 2010

Kin (The Good Neighbors, #1)Kin by Holly Black

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I gobbled down 'Tithe' and am well into 'Valiant'. I'd not known that Holly Black (of the Spiderwick Chronicles) wrote books about Elves. Or these awesome graphic novels in which shadowly elfin figures linger in the corners of the frames, like something you see at the edge of your vision.

View all my reviews

And at the used bookstore today, I purchased the three-book series of original Sherlock Holmes stories as they appeared in the magazines. Illustrated! More on that in next few days.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Woke up before sunrise

Ghastly. My body has adapted to my work schedule and I even wake up before sunrise on Sunday. This is the first weekend I've had in ages that didn't have a stack of duties and chores to accomplish and so I'm back to writing.

'Death by Misfortune' is in the hands of the editors. I'm slogging away at several others. I was working on a Humboldt murder mystery until it hit a plot snag, so I ran off to work on the sequel to Son of a Gun which may have been bumped in the queue since I now know how it's going to end and who-done-it. Here is my sort of plan for the next six months or so of writing: (subject to change without notice, given the nature of post production)

"If Not for You" a Humboldt Murder Mystery
"The Unmapped Country" sequel to 'Son of a Gun'
"Elves, Inc." A Hollywood Faerie Tale
"Till Death Us Do Part" and "I HEART Dead Things" sequels to "No Rest for the Wicked" and "Death by Misfortune" respectively are in that rudimentary state which defies end dates and projected pub dates.

Those are the five on my desktop every morning and evening and that I carry on a flash drive to work on in lulls during the day.

Every single one of them is in that horrible soupy embryonic state that is so hard to work on. Only the memory of having been in this same damned place with my other books keeps me going.

Meanwhile I'm reading up a storm. I've sort of ended my Marion Zimmer Bradley obsession for the moment and am well into Holly Black.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

In which I babble about things I should probably not...

This is one of those opinionated, political diatribes that I perhaps should not post. It makes me feel a little better, so just scroll on by if you become uncomfortable when writers of fiction spew their opinions all over the net.

I saw this today online, in response to the anniversary of 911, and it just blew my mind:

Today I went to the food market and as I was walking into the store I saw a women dressed from head to toe in a full black dress. Only her eyes were showing. I was so amazed I couldn't even breathe. I felt violated and wanted to scream. She must of went to the store fully covered to insult us and show she has the right to be what she is. A full covered slave for her man with no rights. I was so upset as a American and a women seeing a women in this country dressed like this. She does has the right to look like this but why does she come to this country and stay in her own.

We here as women enjoy our freedom and have rights. Why would you come here and choose to continue wearing clothing that means you are not treated as a equal as your husband. Does he cover from head to toe.
Well, I just froze and let her go to her car. However, we American's are
free and do allow other's to be free. However, I thought of a bomb being hidden under her black slavery outfit. I was ready to act. So let me say
you women can wear these horrible clothes to reflect women without rights in your home but I was ready to drop her if she tryed anything. I would give my life to stop these people from enslaving other humans. So wear your clothes even though you don't have but if you think for one moment that you can ever take over our country. Think again. I was ready to take you out without even thinking twice if I had to. I never thought Like this before. But I looked at wear you were going and watched your every step to your car. I am surprised you were able to drive. Lose the clothes or go back to your country and be a sexual slave to your husband there. Don't spread that hate here. We do not want you here. Go home. you make me sick.

Okay I am not reprinting this to mock this woman, or to revile her. I actually was awestruck. What blew my mind was the heartfelt emotion in her comment. It comes through, past the mispellings and grammatical errors, this fervent, deeply felt honest emotion. So much agony. So much anger and fear. Why?

Imagine the woman who has to go to a grocery store and be stared at by people like this writer "I thought of a bomb being hidden under her black slavery outfit" every day. Imagine living like that.

Imagine growing up 'in the land of the free and the home of the brave' and being LOOKED at like that.

This is going to ruin the entire premise upon which our Bill of Rights was written.

The line that stood out for me was "Don't spread that hate here." and all I could think was, obviously, there is no need to spread hate. It's been spread plenty thick already.

I won't give out the link. I don't want anyone going to this woman's location and blasting her verbally. What I do wonder is what is happening here? Where is this agonized diatribe coming from? What button is being pushed and who planted that button there? And, most importantly, what can we do to heal these people?

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Yes, I'm still here.

My absolutely most favorite cover ever. Just thought I'd share it.

And a Kurt Vonnegut quote:

  • Well, I've worried some about, you know, why write books ... why are we teaching people to write books when presidents and senators do not read them, and generals do not read them. And it's been the university experience that taught me that there is a very good reason, that you catch people before they become generals and presidents and so forth and you poison their minds with ... humanity, and however you want to poison their minds, it's presumably to encourage them to make a better world.
    • "A Talk with Kurt Vonnegut. Jr." by Robert Scholes in The Vonnegut Statement (1973) edited by Jerome Klinkowitz and John Somer October 1966), later published in Conversations With Kurt Vonnegut (1988), p. 123
Don't know why that quote and this cover appealed to me simultaneously at 6 am on a Wednesday morning, but there you are.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Book Covers

The bloody penis-headed monster attacks Amazons in cute furry outfits.

Who could resist this? Not me. Hell, I'd pay money for a poster of it to hang on my wall.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

The Shattered Chain by Marion Zimmer Bradley

The Shattered Chain (Darkover Series)The Shattered Chain by Marion Zimmer Bradley

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Having a blast re-reading all of MZB. The first time I read this book I remember being severely disappointed in the ending. Now, from the vantage point of having lived a bit, I can accept it philosophically. Wonderful world building and character development, of course. And everybody learns and grows. The cover of mine is remarkably sexual in a creepy way. I see the Goodreads cover is much nicer.Mine has a (forgive me but it's truly the correct description) a bloody penis headed monster attacking women. yick.

View all my reviews >>

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Hawks fans talk about what the win means.

I snagged the following from

Down the street from Joe's, three guys stood together high-fiving passers-by before they headed underground for their shift of work until 4 a.m. Construction workers Gene Surico, of Elburn, Ill., Pablo Vargas, of Chicago and Scott Bodeman, of Deerfield, Ill., each listened to the end of Game 6 on the radio while driving to work. Before starting their shift, they were taking in the scene of honking cars and happy Hawks fans, stopping briefly to celebrate with them. "This is just such a fun team to watch and root for," said Surico, who used to work at the United Center for eight years in the 1990s and saw three of the Bulls' NBA titles in person. "I have to be honest with you. I never thought I'd see this happen in my lifetime ... but then again, I never thought I'd live to see a black president either. But that happened and now this happened. It's pretty amazing."


I'll be blogging about this for days but...

And the highlight last night, one of many, was Jeremy Roenick who played in the 1992 Finals in which the Hawks lost. Now announcing the game, he said to his co-hosts, "...and it's redemption. For that boy back in '92. I saw him, crying when we were leaving the ice..." and he teared up.


I didn't think it would happen in my lifetime.


Monday, June 7, 2010


They are one win away from the first Stanley Cup won by the franchise since 1961. They'll be playing in Philladelphia Wednesday and if, for some god awful reason, they don't win, they'll be back to Chicago for the seventh game on Friday.

I washed my Chicago fleece throw after the second loss in Philly, to wash away the bad mojo. See? It worked.

I've got another little hockey short in the works. I'll publish it to celebrate them winning the Stanley Cup.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

The Catch Trap

The Catch Trap The Catch Trap by Marion Zimmer Bradley

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I'm interested in what other writers of GLBT think of Marion Zimmer Bradley. I feel almost as if a piece of her got blown into my heart a decade ago. Like a dandelion gone to seed.

The Mists of Avalon was the first Arthurian legend based book that answered the need I had to see strong female characters in my favorite myth. Poor old Lord Tennyson had pretty much destroyed the women of the Round Table for me. Mindless idiots and evil witches. The Mists of Avalon was a sort of redemption.

Bradley was incredibly prolific and I haven't read all of her books. I'm thinking I may get myself down to a local used bookstore and find a few that I've missed.

This one reads, at times, like fan fiction. There are thousands of tiny story arcs shooting off into space while we follow the main three: Family, Flying trapeze history, and illegal love.

The last is handled with such insight and sympathy I am stunned every time I read it. She describes the loneliness, self-hatred and fear. The anger at having to hide this one true and beautiful thing in ones life, as if one is ashamed. And she does it simply and subtly, not hammering it home or making too much of it.

I think it ads to the book to know that one of her husbands was a gay man with whom she had a child. They were eventually divorced, but he and she remained friends. Bradley's deep compassion and love for human beings permeates all of her books. Her women and men are strong, sympathetic, and filled with mutual respect for each other.

The book is over 600 pages long. I've read it twice now. Towards the end, I find myself slowing and reading every page, savoring the world and the characters. This time I waited a week to read the last twenty pages, just to make it last.

I wish I could have met her. Her voice, nonetheless, is one of those that lives in my head.

View all my reviews >>

Saturday, June 5, 2010

an ominous quiet ...

Hawks lost the last two games. They are now 2/2 in the series going home for game five tomorrow.
We've been watching them play all year and I think we know them well enough to feel forboding and that nasty twinge in the gut with which Chicago sports fans are all too familiar...

I'm writing today and trying not to think about it.

Monday, May 31, 2010

In honor of GAME 2 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs

I'm sitting here eating Tums. It's 0/0 in the second and there's no telling which way it's going to go, but I uploaded a tiny (4540 words) little ice hockey/vampire m/m story to Smashwords here.

Now I'm trying to figure out Wikipedia. bleh. Anything to distract me. I've already screamed myself hoarse, scared the dogs and I think my neighbor is staring at me from her bedroom window.


Happy Memorial Day everyone! and LETS GO BLACKHAWKS!!!!

Saturday, May 29, 2010


I doubt many people are unaware of my hockey obsession. But perhaps you didn't know that I grew up in a hockey family in Chicago. The Chicago Blackhawks haven't been in a Stanley Cup playoff since 1992 (we lost), and we haven't won a Stanley Cup since 1961.

So I'm a little crazy tonight. And hoarse. I'm not taking this damned jersey off until they win.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Where in the world is AM Riley?

I've gone back to work at one of the studios. It's like picking up your lantern and going back into the cave. Limited email and cellphone. A massive, network surveyed computer system that discourages browsing (as if I had time).

I'll be checking in periodically and I should be around on weekends. Haven't got my log in working yet so blogger and I aren't compatible while at work...
Wish me luck.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

linkety to Mrs. Dalloway

Mrs. Dalloway Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Virginia Woolf's "Mrs. Dalloway" is 85 today. There is a good blog post on the book here. For myself, "To the Lighthouse" and "Jacob's Room" were the most moving of her works. I absolutely hate all of the movies. It's obscene to translate Woolf to film.

View all my reviews >>

Friday, May 21, 2010

Whatever Happened to the Purple Velvet Cake?

This is Buddy. He came with The-Boy-who-sleeps-on-my-sofa. He is adorable and very very tall. He is so tall that when he jumps up he can lick my face, he can jump over five foot coffee tables in one bound, and he can reach the kitchen counters.

So, before I could take a picture of the Purple Velvet Cake (which would have been the Red Velvet Cake except the birthday girl requested purple) Buddy decided to taste some of the strawberry festooned frosting.

Or at least that's the story the other two dogs told me when they came charging upstairs to report that something terribly exciting was happening downstairs. Downstairs, Buddy was in a corner trying to look innocent and like he'd just woken from a nap, the Purple Velvet Cake was frosting side down on the kitchen floor with a broken plate.

Happily we'd already sung the birthday song, done the candles, and made ourselves sick eating half of it. And we did save about a quarter. But it was no longer very photogenic.

It tasted delicious. Thanks for all the recipe advice.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Not on the topic of books.

I am looking for a Red Velvet cake recipe. It is my daughter's birthday today and I want to bake a lactose-free Red Velvet cake that is NOT dry and icky. Last year the Red Velvet cake was a giant FAIL. It looked awesome but tasted bleh.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Why I Write

Rick Reed is hosting a series of authors blogging about 'Why I Write'. Today is my turn. Check it out here!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Maybe I should retire now?

I mean after this letter from Val at Obsidian Bookshelf, which honestly moved me to tears, I feel almost like I have nothing more to achieve.

Except for this book sitting in front of me right now. I just have to finish this one and then I'll stop. Maybe.

Thank you, Val. I can't express how much it means to receive fanmail like this.

Friday, May 14, 2010

A review in which I become opinionated

The Grand Sophy The Grand Sophy by Georgette Heyer

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This is generally listed as one of the best Georgette Heyer books and it is fantastic, if you love regency romance. I gave it four stars because of a couple of specific issues which I will mention below beneath the SPOILER stars.

Her stories and language bring an era to life which, according to my history books, existed very briefly before The War. The Grand Manor period, which seems to be nostalgically longed for by everyone but me.

I mean, ick. Snobbery and too much obsession with gossip and parties. The overwhelming infantilization of women. puke.

Once I had suspended my distaste for the reality, though, I thoroughly enjoyed the book. She is called the Queen of Regency Romance for good reason. Her characters are clever, sweet and destined for each other. The most sex you will find is a fierce kiss at the end, and I was surprised to discover that that was all I wanted. It is a good escape book and I flew through it in one afternoon when I was sick. Except for a couple of issues, I'd heartily recommend it. Those issues are spoilers, though, so beware and don't read below the stars...








1.) Terrifyingly anti-Semitic! I mean, horrible! Dear God, is it even legal to publish this stuff in the United States?

There are several occasions when an underage man who has been running about gambling (which was apparently OKAY back then) admits having touched bottom to the point of 'going to the Jews'. When we finally meet one of these, he is described as follows:

"...the door was slowly opened to reveal thin, swarthy individual, with long greasy curls, a semitic nose, and an ingratiating leer. He was dressed in a suit of rusty black, and nothing about him suggested sufficient affluence to lend as much as five hundred pence to anyone."

Revolting. You may say that this reflects the opinions of an era. Maybe you are right, in which case THANK GOD that era is dead.

2.) FIRST COUSINS MARRYING????? Huge gigantic squick. If I'd had any idea I would have never read the book. Blech blech, I'm still rinsing my brain out. Was this common back then? It was probably the obvious romantic connection, but I didn't see it because it is, to me, completely unacceptable. NO WONDER the era is over with. Inbreeding and prejudice and making women weak to the point that they can't care for their own sick children?

View all my reviews >>

Monday, May 10, 2010

Son of a Gun gets 4.5 stars at Literary Nymphs

A very nice review at Literary Nymphs for "Son of a Gun". She gave it 4.5 nymphs. Pretty good for a romance that is all about the action adventure with the romance and heat as a side dish. (There IS heat, though. I saw a comment somewhere that an anonymous somebody had said there were no hot scenes in the book.)

Friday, May 7, 2010

its not a process its a crap shoot

Today, aside from an interesting trip to the 'Largest Thrift Shop in Los Angeles', I wrote. I have a first chapter that seems to be having problems and I decided to relentlessly bang away at it until I'd resolved whatever it is that is bothering me. End of the day and I've written 37 additional words and bought a Polo shirt that is remarkably ugly. And I still don't feel good about that first chapter.


I played basketball in high school. It was girls intramural and I was not good. But it was girls intramural basketball and the poor coach probably felt that beggars couldn't be choosers and she tried to find a way to make me useful. My annoying slowness and irritating grin made me the perfect target for fouls, so she had me learn to shoot free throws. Hour and hours I'd stand on that free throw line during practice, finding the exact arc, the exact amount of pressure, the perfect lift and shove that would propel a ball reliably into the basket. I got pretty good. But still, it always was very satisfying and a little magical when the ball swished through the net.

When a sentence comes out just as you want it to. Or, better yet, when a chapter accomplishes exactly what you had hoped, it feels like that. There's practice, and theres the hours and hours of standing on the line, but there's also just a little bit of magic and luck to it.

Today I was 0 for 2 and I'm feeling pretty damned crabby.

I am Elisa's author this week at Inside Reader

Elisa Rolle's blog features an author a week writing about his/her 'top ten' books. This week she asked me! I attempted to make a halfway decent list. Go check it out here and leave a comment.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Please support an author during a trying time.

Jason Edding, a fellow MLR press author has just had a devastating blow. He has lost his long time partner and is feeling very much alone. Please go to his website here and show him some support. Thanks guys.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Review for 'What to Buy the Vamp Who has Everything

Val, at Obsidian Bookshelf has written an awesome review of What to Buy the Vamp Who has Everything. I am continually blown away by reviewers and how they practice their art. Val has been taking her craft seriously. She now has a specialty she calls, the Six Word Review that is cleverer than anything. (Oh, and it doesn't hurt that her reviews of my books leave me breathless.) Go check out her blog if you can.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

a Playlist for this book I'm writing..

I'm working on a new book. (yes, the sequels to "Son of a Gun", "No Rest for the Wicked", and "Death by Misfortune" are on hold. pleeeez, avert your eyes. I needed to step away)

It's an odd little thing. And I keep seeing "The Green Knight" with the blacklight enhanced production of Mozart's Don Giovanni in my mind while I'm typing. Here's the short list of the music I've got on a loop while I'm writing.

Ain't Talkin' Bout Love
Iron Horse
All I Need
Matchbox Twenty
All Through the Night Cyndi Lauper
Possession Sarah McLachlan
Moondance Van Morrison
Running On Empty Jackson Browne
How Do You Sleep? John Lennon
Can't Fight This Feeling Glee Cast
Death on Two Legs Queen
Survivor Destiny's Child


Mozart's 'Don Giovani'

Sunday, May 2, 2010

I have a page!

I now have an author page. HERE

Not much to see there yet, but I've been re-writing and buffing some shorts I wrote a LONG time ago. I'm going to publish those on Smashwords and I'm not sure but I think they eventually will be for offer at Amazon. Anyway I will announce them there. And here. And over there on livejournal. I'm cloned.

Friday, April 30, 2010

My mascot

write flash fiction... says the vampire in my ear. you know you need to...

I'm getting an Amazon author page up and running. I'm thinking of putting little shorts there and on Goodreads.



Thursday, April 29, 2010

watch out, I'm going to wax political for a minute here...

Today is the 25th anniversary of Emily's List. The short explanation of the group is it's purpose is to get more women in the top seats of government in the United States. That's an extremely short explanation, but go to the link here, if you want to know more. And really, if you are female and a US citizen, how could you not want to know more? Which brings me to the real topic.

"I am not a feminist," said my friend [not naming names, let's call her 'Q']. She lay her credit card (which has her maiden and married name on it) on the tray. She is paying for lunch today. She can afford it. She's been working union for almost twenty years, steadily.

We worked together for about seven of those, so I know quite a bit about Q. Her husband, through no fault of his own, has been only working sporadically for years. She has two kids, one of whom was in company run daycare almost from birth. She supports her family and makes a pretty damned good wage.

Did I make a speech when she made that ridiculous statement? No. Because I was stunned.

I like Q. She's kind and smart and a decent human being. How can she sit there reaping the benefits of years of political strife and personal grief on the part of other women and deny affiliation with them?

Wouldn't that be something like a person of color claiming not to support de-segregation, or having the vote? I mean what the fuck?

I went home from that lunch deeply depressed. But then my daughter pointed out, "Q is old. Old people are stupid."


Which brings me to The Children.

On occasion, I come down for breakfast to discover a young person sleeping on my couch. Currently, we have one of those. Big heap of blankets, foot sticking out of them that is definitely a boy's foot. He came with a backpack, a blanket, a laptop and a 60 pound dog who I find, much to my dismay, has problems with gas. He works nights while pursuing a GED. He's bright, polite and a so-called 'good kid'. Why he needs to borrow sofa's is an odd little story but it's not what you'd think. He isn't a runaway, doesn't have some horrible abusive childhood.

My daughter, who would have been at home running an Inn in the Middle Ages along the pilgrimage route, finds these people, brings them here. We feed and entertain them. Sometimes they hang around. I don't mind. They give me hope for the future.

Because, and here's I think the core issue, they have a basic innate respect for other creatures. They haven't grown up learning to bury their feelings in a hodge podge of poorly thought out rhetoric. I hear them down there playing their video games and when one of the guys calls another a 'faggot' he immediately gets trounced by his piers who explain to him in linear simple common sense detail, why that word is out of line. Because it's mean. Mean=bad. Simple.

Of course then it becomes a joke and he calls himself 'faggot' periodically.

If you saw the kids protesting in the streets after Prop 8 was passed, some of those were these children. Not because they are gay or have a friend who is gay or because Emily's mom said they should (god, no, when I saw one of them on the news, I was immediately on the cellphone telling him to get his ass out of there before he got hurt). But because they know on a gut simple level, that the proposition was wrong. They don't need a degree in law or a convoluted sermon from some minister to prove this. Its obvious. Its mean and its inhumane and that's what these kids are against.

They are feminists. In the way that any humanist would naturally be a feminist. They respect the women in their group and expect the same adult behavior from them that they would from themselves. Its obvious, its logical.

Old people are stupid.

Monday, April 26, 2010

a new review

There is a new, amazing, gorgeous, knock-me-over-with-a-feather review of Amor en Retrogrado on Obsidian's blog here.

I've got another complex murder mystery featuring Bill Turner, his partner and Christopher, in edits at the moment. Different sort of book, but Bill and Christopher's story is advanced somewhat. Not sure when we will be done with it. I unloaded the whole mess on my editor and then ran away laughing bwahaha.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

My dogs.

Benton. He came from the Pasadena Humane Shelter. They tell me he was part of a pack of dogs found wandering in the hills. Theory is these dogs are bred to fight and when they are too passive, or too beta to fight, they are released to starve or make their way somehow. Benton was covered with scars and bitter when I got him. Now he's my best friend in the world. Sometimes he comes in the room and just sits there and looks at me with melty eyes like, 'oh my god, i love you so much'.

Bella. She was seen running back and forth across a four lane highway at midnight. Who would abandon a 7 pound bundle of adorableness? Benton wasn't too sure about her for awhile. After all, I was his one and only human and he didn't want to share. But nobody can resist Bella.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Amber Green's 'Golden Boys'

Golden Boys Golden Boys by Amber Green

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Wonderful language and world building.

Ethan's dreamed about Jell since they were adolescents, and now he might have a chance to live a few of those fantasies, but he's got a lot of other troubles at the moment.

A derailed career, his disappointed parents, who expected a heterosexual doctor for a son, not a gay man who has flunked out of med school. An enigmatic FBI agent Uncle who wants to use Ethan's friendship with Jell for his own purposes, to name a few.

Ethan is a sincere, passionate main character whom I instantly adored. It is easy to understand what he sees in Jell, who ends up being more than just a pretty face and a hot body. The action is fast and exciting and the sex was sizzling. A great read.

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now I'm just being silly

This is the MAGIC bunny. See his blue sparkly magic wand? See his weirdly myopic eyes? Magic!

Magic bunny has been waving his sparkly wand at me from over there in the orchid window all winter but now it's time to take him out and show him around Los Angeles. More later...

just a distraction

We had the World Championship here in Los Angeles. (this was before he won the Gold in Vancouver) The photo is awful, but don't the photographers look like priests worshipping at the shrine of youth and beauty.

Wait, there was a song like that.. "Sacred" by Depeche Mode?

Okay, back to the book. Who wants a classic manor who done it set in the Redwood National Forest with metaphors buried in it?

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

blogging as a form of procrastination...

Everything you can imagine is real. Pablo Picasso

Yes, I'm procrastinating. I've hit a particularly difficult part of the book and that blank page is starting to drive me mad. I keep filling it with images instead of words. argh.

But, since I'm on the subject of trying to write, I'd like to suggest John Gardner. Anything by John Gardner, but specifically "October Light". Recently, I wrote a short blog for Elisa Rolle about my top ten books and for some unforgivable reason I neglected to mention this book or anything by John Gardner. Who also wrote 'Grendal' which everyone has to read at some point. NO, you simply must. Currently, I'm re-reading his book "The Art of Fiction" which is gentle but irresistable, like erosion.

And now I've got to get back to work.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Erotic Horizons is honoring poetry

If you know me, you know about the poetry thing. In honor of 'National Poetry Month' Erotic Horizons is encouraging people to talk about their favorite poems here.

I did. I think I created a logjam with my poem. My blogging skills are still somewhat limited.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Book of the Week at Whipped Cream

No Rest for the Wicked was given 4.5 cherries at The Long and Short of It, Whipped Cream, a review site. Now they are running a contest for their book of the week. Check it out, read the reviews and put a tickie in the box next to NRftW if you so desire.

Friday, April 16, 2010

There's a free ebook copy of Son of a Gun being given away today on Jessewave's review site. Did I mention free?

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

book giveaway today!

A copy of Son of a Gun is being given away at Stumbling Over Chaos tomorrow For FREE.

Boogie on over and put your name on the list!

Thanks Chris

author page on Goodreads

I'm probably the last to know this is possible, but I just found that I can have an author page on Goodreads and link it to this blog! And so I've set it up. There's a trailer on there as well.

Tomorrow there will be a free give-away and promotion on 'Stumbling Over Chaos', for Son of a Gun I will post links to it as soon as they are available.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Robinson Jeffers

The Collected Poetry of Robinson Jeffers: 1939-1962 The Collected Poetry of Robinson Jeffers: 1939-1962 by Tim Hunt

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Hurt Hawksby Robinson Jeffers


The broken pillar of the wing jags from the clotted shoulder,
The wing trails like a banner in defeat,
No more to use the sky forever but live with famine
And pain a few days: cat nor coyote
Will shorten the week of waiting for death, there is game without talons.
He stands under the oak-bush and waits
The lame feet of salvation; at night he remembers freedom
And flies in a dream, the dawns ruin it.
He is strong and pain is worse to the strong, incapacity is worse.
The curs of the day come and torment him
At distance, no one but death the redeemer will humble that head,
The intrepid readiness, the terrible eyes.
The wild God of the world is sometimes merciful to those
That ask mercy, not often to the arrogant.
You do not know him, you communal people, or you have forgotten him;
Intemperate and savage, the hawk remembers him;
Beautiful and wild, the hawks, and men that are dying, remember him.


I’d sooner, except the penalties, kill a man than a hawk; but the great redtail
Had nothing left but unable misery
From the bones too shattered for mending, the wing that trailed under his talons when he moved.
We had fed him for six weeks, I gave him freedom,
He wandered over the foreland hill and returned in the evening, asking for death,
Not like a beggar, still eyed with the oldImplacable arrogance.
I gave him the lead gift in the twilight.
What fell was relaxed,Owl-downy, soft feminine feathers;
but whatSoared: the fierce rush: the night-herons by the flooded river cried fear at its rising
Before it was quite unsheathed from reality.

Every single one of Jeffers' poems make me sad and angry and yet I recognize something beautiful through them. He is best known as the poet who lived and wrote about Big Sur. He lived a passionate life, stole a married woman away from her civilized husband, lived in a rock tower built by hand from the stones of Carmel. He fell out of favor in the public schools for a time, maybe we didn't want to teach our children about women who rebel against the cruelty and power. Or maybe his seeming mysanthropy,

"I'd sooner, except the penalties, kill a man than a hawk."

But he is now regaining popularity with environmentalists.Jeffers loves the wild places, metaphorical and physical. He doesn't much love the human race when it congregates and becomes 'civilized'. Still, he sees something of value in living:

"Does it matter whether you hate your...self? At leastLove your eyes that can see, your mind that canHear the music, the thunder of the wings. Love the wild swan."

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First reveiw of "Son of a Gun"

A really kind review of 'Son of a Gun' over at reviews by jessewave. She gave it a 4.5 and a thorough and thoughtful review. And, yes, she noticed that the state of Texas is one of the characters.

Thanks Wave!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

MLR Authors at Love Romance Cafe

We are chatting about our books and ourselves at Love Romance Cafe today. Come on by!

by the way, I live in L.A. and it's not yet noon on a Saturday. One eye is still shut, I keep dozing off mid-sentence and I probably won't remember a word of this in a few hours.

Friday, April 9, 2010

A new old book is now available.

I now have a Smashwords author page

Where you may find "Of the Clan O'Grady" my very first m/m book that was published over six years ago and is now out of print.

The good news? Is I've actually had a sequel moldering away on my computer. Faeries, amoral and strange and running amock in New York City. I know. They are almost indistinguishable from the humans. And that's the point.

Smashwords also allows you to sample a percentage of the book, so check it out!

Son of a Gun is available NOW from MLR press!

Son of a Gun is now available at MLR Press!

978-1-60820-117-4 (print) $14.99

978-1-60820-118-1 (ebook) $6.99
Release DateApril 2010
Cover ArtistDeana C. Jamroz

The blurb:

Politics, drugs and secrets from the past collide in the town of Boerne Texas and end in a chase across the Devil's Backbone.

Stefan Sanchez number one reason to leave Texas was closeted deputy Chet Blain. When Stefan returns for the funeral of his best friend, he is confronted by painful memories, Chet's recriminations, and a hunky Secret Service agent who seems determined to make Stefan's business his business.

I grew up on The Hardy Boys books and this book is a little bit of an homage to them. And a little bit of a slash on them as well, since I always KNEW Frank and Chet were longing for each other. Didn't you? Anyway, its erotic but wholesome if that is at all possible. And the hero is one of my favorite sorts. Here's an excerpt:

which is NOT WORK SAFE

The place hadn’t changed at all. It smelled strongly of jasmine and grass, tufts of cottonwood floating in the moonlight. And it might have been the memories, or it might have been that famous reaction of the male libido to death, or maybe it was the habit of self-hatred that the place engendered, but Stefan found himself walking closer to Chet, their hands and shoulders now occasionally bumping until, when Chet turned toward Stefan, his eyes quickly scanning the clearing in which they stood, Stefan just stepped into Chet’s arms as if they hadn’t been separated for seven years.

“I can’t believe how long it’s been,” said Chet, when they parted for air. Instead of answering, Stefan lifted his head and found Chet’s mouth again. Soft short hairs under his fingers, Chet’s lips firm and knowing, hands solid on Stefan’s hipswhile he waited for Stefan to break and make the first move.

For seven years, Stefan Sanchez had worked the West Hollywood social scene with a cool cynicism, negotiating every encounter so coldly that he’d acquired a sort of reputation as a prick tease and a player. Stefan Sanchez broke for no man.

Now, hands shaking and sweaty, Stefan unbuckled Chet’s belt, opening his slacks, fingers eager and sure with memory as Chet murmured a tongue-filled approval and his stiffening cock slid into Stefan’s hand.

“Missed the feel of your hand,” Chet said, roughly.

Stefan’s habit of bending his knee was stronger than his will to resist it. Chet tasted exactly as he always had. The feel of his belly under Stefan’s tongue inextricably intertwined with the memory of smoky barbeques and fireworks. Salty damp painted Stefan’s cheek as he nuzzled clean, practically hairless sacs and then, aware that he resented the hand gently urging him—but not fighting it—he tilted his face sideways and took Chet’s cock into his mouth. Stefan let the pleasure override his mind and only pulled off when he heard a condom wrapper being opened. Chet was breathing hard, white belly flushed pink above his opened boxers. He rolled the condom over his prick then threaded his fingers, again, into Stefan’s hair.

“God. Your mouth,” Stefan heard him whisper.

When he’d finished, Chet urged Stefan up, cradling him with one arm, as he pulled at Stefan’s cock.

“Look at me.”

No, thought Stefan, eyelids lifting so his gaze was locked with Chet’s.

“Christ, the way you look,” breathed Chet and his mouth covered Stefan’s again, so he had to feel the little groan Stefan issued as his come pumped obediently out onto the ground.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Chicago Blackhawks clinch Central Division Title for the first time in 17 years!

AND chocolate bunnies! It's been a good day.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

The Complete Poems The Complete Poems by Randall Jarrell

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

"From my mother's sleep I fell into the State,
And I hunched in its belly till my wet fur froze.
Six miles from earth, loosed from its dream of life,
I woke to black flak and the nightmare fighters.
When I died they washed me out of the turret with a hose."

'The Death of the Ball Turret Gunner' World War II poem by Randall Jarrell

This week, a prolonged comment exchange with Josh Lanyon, brought me back to my 'home base' - i.e. 20th century poets, especially 20th century American poets. I've decided to babble about them for a few months, choosing one poet each week. I'm posting these psuedo 'reviews' on my blog as well.

I chose Randall Jarrell as my first poet, because he was a reknowned critic as well. I consider him the bar to which all critics and reviewers of literature should aspire. Firstly because poetry is extremely difficult to critique. Usually, the critic is reduced to some sort of opinionated diatribe. "I liked this poem because" sounding like a fifteen year old essayist. Or "so-and-so's lyrical blah blah , masking confusion in a litany of terms that really say nothing.

Jarrell seemed able to understand what the poet was trying to accomplish and to point out where he/she had both failed and succeeded in this attempt. Awesome, useful amazing critiques.He was also an outspoken pacifist and a friend of most of the contemporary American poets of note. (a small circle of alternately supportive and critical literary giants. a very very very small circle. You and I would never be invited to their parties.) Elizabeth Bishop, Robert Lowell, Adrienne Rich, to name a few.

Jarrell's note to the poem above

A ball turret was a Plexiglas sphere set into the belly of a B-17 or B-24,
and inhabited by two .50 caliber machine-guns and one man, a short small
man. When this gunner tracked with his machine guns a fighter attacking his
bomber from below, he revolved with the turret; hunched upside-down in his
little sphere, he looked like the foetus in the womb. The fighters which
attacked him were armed with cannon firing explosive shells. The hose was a
steam hose.
I also chose Jarrell because he didn't survive the depression, alcoholism and despair that seems to have been the fate of so many poets in the past. His death, hit by a car while out walking, was officially ruled an accident but was generally felt, by those that knew him, to be a suicide.

It is my belief that 20th century poets began to 'get a grip' and more and more of them fought hard to survive with their sensibilities intact.

Jarrell was, obviously, a pacifist. He spent time in prison as a concientous objector and wrote two books of poems based on his stay there. All of his poems and quite a few of his best critiques are in this 'complete works'. He wrote poems that stuck in the head of anyone and the poem above has been used and quoted in many anti war and pacifist books and pamphlets.

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Tuesday, March 30, 2010

James Merrill, Collected Poems

Collected Poems Collected Poems by James Merrill

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
"Always the black swan moves on the lake; always
The blond child stands to gaze
As the tall emblem pivots and rides out
To the opposite side, always. The child upon
The bank, hands full of difficult marvels, stays
Forever to cry aloud
In anguish: I love the black swan."

with Merrill, I initially preferred his early book, "the Black Swan", probably a symptom of my own less sophisticated tastes. His later work is urbane and witty, and has surprised me with each rereading. One word or one phrase suddenly reveals the underside of the thing. The series of poems entitled "Peter", for instance, are both clever and painful. The introduction to the book is good and includes some Merrill quotes such as "...he once told an interviewer, he 'looked for English in its billiard-table sense--words that have been set spinning against their own gravity.'" The Collected Poems is my most thumbed through book of poetry and I'm very frustrated that I wasn't able to find it in hardcover as I've destroyed it already.

View all my reviews >>

Friday, March 26, 2010

Well, the happy news is a new review by Literary Nymphs, who gave "No Rest for the Wicked" five nymphs and a lovely review

The unhappy news is the Droid is dead.

moment of silence, please.

Here is what I learned. + =

I feel like I'm stranded on a desert island without my Droidie.

Poor Benton (dog) freaked when a squirrel ran in front of him. I was yammering away on the phone whilst walking Benton. Benton lunged and the leash and my arm went one way, Droidie went the other and into possibly the only puddle in the San Fernando Valley. blub blub blub.

Poor Droidie can't swim. Who knew?

Thursday, March 25, 2010

On behalf of the silent and sane majority

I called my Senators' offices today and thanked them.

I'm sure the nutcases threatening congressional members are far less representative of the American people than one might gather from Yahoo and Fox. And I think it's fairly obvious why frustrated and overpowered Republican Congress-people would say things like "the American people are angry" when they have no evidence to support that assertion. Well, except the crazy (and illegal) actions of a few psychos.

But I wanted both of my Senators, and my local Rep, whose offices I also called, to hear it from me. The news hasn't shown the face of one happy American, I told the people who answered my call. This is me telling you there are a lot of us. We just aren't throwing bricks.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Thursday, March 18, 2010

my new book trailer

My trailer for "No Rest for the Wicked"

Monday, March 15, 2010

No Rest for the Wicked

ISBN: 978-1-60737-546-3

Cover Artist: Justin James

buy link here:

NO REST FOR THE WICKED is now available from Loose id.

This is my sequel to 'Immortality is the Suck'. I heard the cries of readers and explored Adam and Peter's relationship a little more.

The blurb: Adam has gone through a lot of changes in the past year, a new taste for 'O' neg blood and allergy to sunlight being the least of them. Maybe it's the cute young grad student who has been sniffing around Adam's longtime sex partner, Peter. Or maybe immortality gives a man a little too much time to think. But Adam's feeling motivated to change a few of his ways. If he could just get Peter to stop working long enough to notice.

Peter has his own issues with dating a dead man. And after over a decade of being in love with a commitment-phobe, he's finding it hard to believe that Adam isn't sampling the goods of the hot young vampire he works with.

They manage their issues the way they always have. By not talking about them...until a high profile computer software genius turns up drained in Hollywood, revealing a new vampire gang in Los Angeles, and all of their troubles come to a head. There's no rest for the wicked.