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.