Monday, August 29, 2011

Last Week of Vampire Bay Contest

Wednesday is the last day for the Vampire Bay contest. If you are interested in entering and haven't yet just leave a comment, your Email addie and mention Vampire Bay Contest.

The first prize is a Cooke Lee Bracelet, a Starbucks gift card and a download of Vampire Bay.

Second prize: A paper copy of Moon Watchers

prize: A paper copy of Vampire Island


I gasped in disbelief then flew out of the SUV. “Sam.”

He ran toward me. I jumped in his arms and wrapped my legs around his waist. He clutched me and spun around in circles.

Missed ya, Squirt.” His mouth found mine, warm and firm. My head spun from more than the dizzy circle we turned in.

An angry bat screeched and dive bombed my head. I came back to reality with a thump. “We better get on the porch.” I tried to squirm down but he clutched me and raced up the steps.

Sam whirled around, holding me effortlessly. My boyfriend’s of the lithe variety, slender, not muscle-bound, but strong. “You won’t get her, you bastard,” he snarled.

My heart dropped. “Uncle told you,” I whispered.

“You should have, Squirt.” He loosened his grip and I slid down the length of him. He held me at arms length and studied me. “Why didn’t you?”

I shrugged out of his grasp and walked to the end of the veranda and back then faced him. “Tell you what? I’m in love with you, Sam, but oh by the way, I’m attracted to a bat. Attracted enough, I have to fight being turned.”

At that moment the bat swooped down and hung in the air in front of me, motionless except for his wings. His crimson eyes glowed. I’d swear in invitation.

I hate bats. They make my skin crawl. But as if hypnotized I started to step off the porch toward my destiny.

Sam shoved me back and leaped over the rail and off the porch. The spell broke. “Get back, Sam.” I raced down the steps.

“Stay on the porch, Zoe,” Sam commanded.

The bat shape shifted. The dark-haired vamp stood in front of Sam. And in that moment I could see my attraction. They are so very similar, both tall and lean and powerful.

Vampire Bay is available as a download at Smashwords

and Amazon

for $3.99.

Saturday, August 27, 2011


She's tearing through the North Carolina coastline. We are in central North Carolina and fine. My son and his wife are closer to the coast and have lost power, and getting the rains and wind. But they are okay. We have their cat and his in-laws the dog.
Our daughter is in Philly, also in Irene's pathway.

I'm chatting on the loop at LASR between 3 -4 Eastern time. If you're in the vicinity, please stop by and say, hey.

Friday, August 26, 2011

A Bit of Trivia For A Friday and Irene

I've always loved the song Greensleeves. I find it haunting and romantic, but I had no idea that Henry the VIII was credited with writing it. There is some doubt that he was the author since some consider the song Elizabethan and composed in a style that wasn't used in England during his lifetime. Regardless, its old, English and beautiful.

For those in the path of Irene, stay safe.
We'll be meeting our son halfway to pick up his critters. They aren't directly on the coast but close enough. They won't be able to leave town for the weekend because his wife works for the county and may be working one of the emergency shelters that are being set up.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Felt that 5.9

Freaky Tuesday
I was sitting at my desk and all of a sudden my chair started shaking and the door rattling. I hopped up hurried into my boss's office and said, "What's going on?" as the room shook.
"Earthquake," he replied.
I can't imagine being caught in one that destroys and causes fatalities, although for a few seconds my imagination was working overtime. All I could think was, Where do I go? What do I do? We have all kind of drills were I work for a variety of situations, but this one had never come up before.
A couple of the windows cracked on the floor above me, but that seems to be the extent of it. Later, after the excitement died down, my husband, who works almost directly above me one floor up, said, "I'm glad I didn't drop in(i.e.through the ceiling) for a visit." Whew, me too.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Laurie Larsen

With us today is Laurie Larsen. Welcome Laurie. Tell us about your current project.

I’d be glad to Sandra! First, let me thank you for having me visit here today and tell you how excited I am that you invited me!

My latest book is Inner Diva, a contemporary romance featuring quiet, reserved Monica, a theater manager who dreams of being in the spotlight, and Carlos, a handsome Hispanic man who’s trying to put his priorities in order after a past containing violence and lost love. Carlos’ little sister Luisa brings the two of them together when Monica becomes her mentor through the Big Sisters organization, much to Carlos’ disapproval. No one in their right mind would put these two “opposites” together, but love doesn’t always strike when it makes sense. As their love grows, only they can help each other realize their dreams.

It’s an e-book available for download to your Kindle, Nook, IPod, IPad, or any cell phone. Here’s a short excerpt:

The door of her limousine slid open, and she stuck out a high-heeled foot, pausing to soak in the expectant silence of her onlookers. With a satisfied grin, she turned in her seat, gripped the hand reaching out to her and left the automobile, standing on the red carpet that covered the sidewalk. Her silk Versace gown hugged her slim form and floated like a dream as she strolled, gracing the crowd with her best Mona Lisa smile. Her escort and most perfect accessory slid out of the limo behind her and followed, dressed in his black tuxedo and crisp white shirt, holding her arm protectively.

“Watch out! Down below, watch out!”

Monica looked up and bolted, barely escaping the onslaught of a huge stage light on its cable wire just inches away. Steve Phillips, the stage guy on a twenty-foot high backstage platform about two feet square, and one of her best buds, hoisted the cable on its pulley, halting the light before it collided with the stage. “Got it under control!” he said with the slightest trace of panic in his voice. Monica suspected he was trying to convince himself as much as everyone else. “Wouldn’t have let it hit anyone. Or anything.”

Monica grinned at him. She’d worked with Steve on several productions, and he was a fun-loving guy who made her laugh. He drew his hand over his brow with an exaggerated “Whew” gesture and tugged the light back up where it belonged. She really needed to keep her mind on her work and her imagination under wraps tonight.

What are your thoughts on e – pubs versus traditional?

Well, I know for sure that electronic book readers are becoming much more prevalent than they were in the past. I have had six books published, and all my previous books were available in trade paperback and e-book. The vast majority of my sales were always the paperback version, with only a small percentage going “e.” So making the decision to publish Inner Diva to e-book only, was an experiment for me. Would my readers even be able to read it? I know many people have moved to Kindle or Nook over the last few years and love it!

About a month ago I was the guest author at a book club who had picked my book Preacher Man (1/2009) as their July selection. After we discussed Preacher Man, I talked about Inner Diva. I told them it was only offered as an e-book and several were disappointed. But guess what – about seven of them whipped out their e-book readers and ordered it on the spot! So I think books that are offered in both formats are probably in the best position to hit the most readers, but definitely e-books have reached their time! They’re demanding respect, and getting it.

What is your favorite genre to write in?

Wow, this is a great question because as a writer I’m so eclectic. Or suffer from ADD, I’m not sure which! Of my six published books, 2 have been contemporary romances, two have been women’s fiction, one was a Young Adult romance and one was an inspirational romance! See what I mean? I can’t just stick with one genre. Of my two completed but unpublished manuscripts, add one contemporary romance and one women’s fiction. The manuscript I’m currently working on though – add one more different sub-genre – it’s a Christian women’s fiction. I like the variety. When I write, it’s the idea that gets me started, and then I “genre-ize” it later. If it’s not the same genre I’ve written in before, I don’t worry too much about it.

What is your favorite genre to read?

Of course I love romance. I adore authors like Nora Roberts, Suzanne Brockman, Debbie Macomber and Susan Elizabeth Phillips. I also love military fiction. WEB Griffin is my favorite author for this genre. But my absolute favorite author, who makes my heart sing every time, regardless of what he writes, is Pat Conroy. He writes broad, sweeping southern epic novels, usually involving a good deal of family dysfunction and heartache. Don’t ask me why that uplifts me but he does it to me every time!

What tips would you give someone trying to break into the writing industry?

Work hard. Read a lot. Write even more. Write every day, or at least consistently throughout the week to gain momentum. When you finish something, start something new. Don’t be a one-book wonder. Be open to feedback, and the possibility that your work could be improved with revisions. When your work is ready, submit it. Mourn your first rejection, but don’t let it stop you. Keep going, over and over. You WILL experience rejection in this business. Don’t expect everything to be fair. Nothing will be easy. You’ll experience your highest highs and your lowest lows. Keep writing. And don’t forget to celebrate what you love, which is the writing.

What books of yours are currently for sale and where can a reader buy them?

I’ll link you to the various pages of my website that describes each of my 6 books, the plot, a behind-the-scenes author’s note, and purchase links. Sound good?

Inner Diva:

The Chronicles of Casey V:

Preacher Man (my 2010 EPIC Award winner!):

Legacy of Lies:

Momentary Lapse:

Whispers of the Heart:

Sandra, thanks so much! It was a pleasure visiting with you.

The pleasure was all mine, Laurie. Come back anytime.


Visit Laurie online at

2010 EPIC Award Winner!!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Blogging Etiquette

We all love followers. As bloggers, it just makes our day when someone adds their name to our list. I'm pretty certain the sun even shines a little brighter in response.
Now here's my etiquette question/dilemma. When I get a new follower, I check to see if they have a blog and if they do I follow. Sometimes, I mention it in the comment section. What I don't do, is send a message. And that's my blogging etiquette question for the day.
If you're a blogger, do you send a message whenever you get a new follow?
If you're a follower, do you want a message of acknowledgement sent to you?

Blogs of interest:
Amarinda Jones
Anny Cook
Julia Barrett
Shelley Munro

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Promos. What Works Best?

It's no surprise to anyone that stops by that with the recent release of Vampire Bay promos are on my mind.
I'd like to chat today about ways writers can promote their releases.
Blog Tours
Blog tours are always fun and a way to see old friends and meet new people. There are several promotional sites out there you can sign up with. For example: Coffee Beans and Love Scenes and Goddess Fish Tours. Or if your promo budget is tight or nonexistent, you can manage your own. Ask friends or other authors who write in a similar genre. Or readers blogs. Most folks are happy to help you out.
Cover pics
are a good way to let readers know you've got a new book out there.
There are all sorts of online promotional sites that have a range of charges: Author Island, Night Owl Reviews, Coffee Time, LASR and Romance Studio.
And my personal fav...
I like contests. I think they're a lot of fun. Who doesn't like getting a free prize? And along the contest line, something I've only recently discovered is posting your contest in promo sites newsletters. Its a great way to get the word out. In the past, I've gone to the yahoo groups to let readers know about contests, and I'm sure I'll continue to in the future. But the newsletters seem to reach a wider audience--or maybe just more targeted--and you don't get lost in the promo blurbs. Fees vary from free to four or five to fifteen dollars. So far this month, this contest has been featured in Coffee Time and Night Owl. By the way where did you hear or see this contest advertised?
Other forms of advertising
Chats, your own blog and website, release parties, Facebook and Twitter.

Did I forget anything? Oh yeah, reviews. I guess I'll save that topic for another day.
As a writer, what promotions work best for you? As a reader, which promotions pique your interest?

Blogs of interest:
Amarinda Jone's
Anny Cook's
Julia Barrett's
Shelley Munro's
addie's at right

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Those Darn Homophones

'A word pronounced the same but differing in meaning.'

Don't ya just love 'em? Ah, there's nothing like the English language to keep you on your toes(homophone).

My personal favorite bear/bare. Does this one confuse you? It does me.
I was writing an email and started to say bear with me. Then decided nope that didn't look right (there's another one) so I typed bare with me. No that didn't look right, so I plugged it into google. A good thing I did. If I'd left it bare with me, I would have basically been saying get naked with me. Hmm....wouldn't have been appropriate in this particular e mail.

The English language is sprinkled with them. I've listed a few below.

added to the list by commenters:

Which homophones give you grief?

Monday, August 15, 2011

Vampire Bay Contest

Vampire Bay CONTEST:

First prize: a Starbucks gift card, a Cooke Lee crystal bracelet and a download of Vampire Bay.

Second Prize: a paper copy of Moon Watchers,

Third Prize: a paper copy of Vampire Island.

To enter just leave a comment and mention Vampire Bay Contest. If you don't want to leave your addie in the comment section, leave me an email at

Vampire Bay is available as a download at Smashwords

and Amazon

for $3.99.


“What happened to your hand, Zoe?” Uncle’s voice was controlled, his face expressionless except for the intense gleam of his eyes as he stared into mine.

I broke eye contact. “I don’t know.”

“Let me see it.” The azure of his eyes deepened as he stared at me. I bit my lip and fought his magnetic gaze.

“Why?” Uneasy, I tapped my fingers against my thighs.

“Zoe, those are fang marks.”

I heard the exquisite agony in his voice.

“You aren’t going to kill me are you, Uncle?” I whispered as I pressed back against the seat. In spite of the toasty warmth in the little pub goose bumps popped to the surface of my chilled skin.

“For God’s sake, Zoe,” he said roughly. “Tell me what happened? What could have possibly happened?” He placed his elbows on the table and clutched his head.

I noticed he didn’t say he wouldn’t kill me. “I dreamed a bat bit me,” I said in a low voice.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Helen The Deaf and Blind Baby Raccoon

If you're an animal lover and have an opportunity, stop by Night Writers
( and see how friend and fellow author Kimberly Dehn saved a blind and deaf baby raccoon. Its a feel good story.

Friday, August 12, 2011


A friend and I have a long standing lunch date on Fridays. We also having a standing joke. Several months ago my friend, we'll call her Stella, didn't want to walk to the restaurant but wanted to be driven. I called her Princess....After that whoever drove was the chauffeur and whoever was picked up was the princess. Silly stuff but fun. Last night I stopped by the dollar store and found a toy tiara. Yup, you guessed it. When my friend came to to pick me up I was wearing my tiara:) Luckily, no one I work with was around to witness my silliness.

Now if I can just find a chauffeur's cap.......

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

E-Readers Versus Tablets Versus Paper

I decided to attend the Police Academy for Writers this year. You get a huge discount if you're a member of Sisters In Crime. So I joined. One of the benefits of the membership is a newsletter they put out, SinC, filled with great information on what's going on in the writing industry. One particular article caught my eye on tablet sales versus E-Reader sales.
The predictions I've heard are that tablets will make E-Readers obsolete, which made sense to me giving the techie world we live in and the daily changes being made to it. But according to the article it seems that's not the case, at least yet. E-Reader sales surpassed tablet sales this year. Personally, I feel cost plays a large role in this. You can pick up a reader for about a sixth of the cost of a tablet.
Six percent of readers owned e-book readers last year. This year its up to twelve percent.
Even though more of my books are in e than paper I read a lot of paperbacks and wasn't sure how I'd transition toan e device. I was fortunate enough to win a Kindle at the Romanticon Conference and I absolutely love it. I find trying to read stories off a computer to be cumbersome but the hand helds are light weight and user friendly. If you haven't transitioned over, I recommend it. There's room for both paper and e in the world of a reader.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Vampire Bay Contest


First prize: a Starbucks gift card, a Cooke Lee crystal bracelet and a download of Vampire Bay.

Second Prize: a paper copy of Moon Watchers,

Third Prize: a paper copy of Vampire Island.

To enter just leave a comment and mention Vampire Bay Contest. If you don't want to leave your addie in the comment section, leave me an email at

Vampire Bay is available as a download at Smashwords

and Amazon

for $3.99.


“Looking for someone, Sugar?”

I whirled.

He leaned against a rough-barked oak, his ankles crossed, his hands jammed in his pockets.

The man in front of me was drop-dead gorgeous. Blue-black hair worn in a careless style framed high cheekbones. The rakish growth on his chin accentuated his dark good looks. Designer jeans clung to lean hips and long legs. He wore a long-sleeved gray tee, that clung to impressive pecs, with a black outdoor vest over the shirt. Expensive suede boots covered his feet. The only thing that ruined his appearance was the red glow around his irises.

His dark good looks reminded me of someone. I gasped and blinked. He reminded me of Sam, a more rakish version but still Sam. With that long lean body and black hair, they could have passed for brothers.

One moment he leaned negligently against the tree, the next he stood beside me, way too close. Nothing moves faster than a vampire. It can be quite disconcerting if you aren’t used to it. My hand tightened on my sword.

“So you are the mouthwatering Zoe Tempest.” He circled me. Those red glowing eyes seared me wherever he glanced. “To think Dere let a little thing like you take him.” He laughed, a sensual sound that made my knees wobble.

“That’s right. Just like I’m going to take you.” Instead of hurling the words like a spear, I had to force them out of my mouth. They sounded stiff and unnatural.

“Zoe, Zoe, Zoe,” he whispered near my ear, his breath cool and sweet like mint and cookies. I swung around to face him, but he slid back. He shook his head. “Haven’t you figured it out yet? You won’t be able to resist me, love. I’ll be both your lover and your sire.”

His voice caressed like whispering silk. It mesmerized as he circled. “It appeals to you on a basic level doesn’t it, being with me?” He reached out a white cold finger and started to touch my cheek.

I jerked my head back. “Who are you?” I pushed the words past my clenched teeth as my body trembled violently.

“Who do you want me to be?” He touched the back of my neck as he circled me.

I shuddered, but whether from disgust or desire eluded me.

“Dead,” I spat, fighting the unbelievable craving I felt for him.
Vampire Island - 1st in series
Moon Watchers - 2nd in series

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Top Jobs In America

Want to train for the best jobs currently available or soon to be available in the country? Doctors? No. Nurses? No. Accountants? No. Dental hygienist? No.
In my humble opinion if you're after the perfect job, go into politics. Why? Glad you asked. Where else can you squabble like spoiled children, play chicken with the world's economy and not get a write up in your file or a pink slip? And the bennies are the best. When you want to take a vacation drop what your doing and go. Never mind you're throwing thousands of people out of work and losing millions of tax dollars in revenue, what does that have to do with you?
Congress, what a gig huh?

Tuesday, August 2, 2011


"If you'll believe in me, I'll believe in you."

Lewis Carroll, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass

Monday, August 1, 2011


To celebrate the release of Vampire Bay, I'll be running a contest all this month.

First prize: Starbucks Card, Cooke Lee Bracelet (see pic) and a download of Vampire Bay.

Second prize: Paper Copy of Moonwatchers

Third prize: Paper Copy of Vampire Island.

To enter: Just leave a comment and mention Vampire Bay Contest. Please include your email addie. Or if you'd rather not leave your email on the comment section you can send it to me at

Amber eyes glowed in the predawn dark. My heart rose in my throat. “Who’s there?” I croaked and fumbled for the light switch.

Brightness flooded the room and caused Uncle’s silver-clawed ocelot, stretched out on the bed, to blink.

“Oz.” With a sigh of relief I fell on the pink duvet and stroked his sleek head. The coverlet rustled as he rolled on his back, stuck his feet in the air and made loud rumbling noises in his throat. His silver claws gleamed in the light.

The average ocelot doesn’t have silver claws. But Oz was born on Vampire Island where silver claws had evolved in ocelots as a defense mechanism against vampires.

Feeling absurdly better with Oz in the room, I stripped down to my pink chemise and thong then raced across the cold wooden floor, flipped off the light, ran back and hopped in bed. I burrowed in between white flannel sheets that emitted the clean, comforting scent of detergent. Oz nestled beside me. Warm and toasty, I fell asleep to his rumbling purr and dreamed…

The bat swooped down. Its wing slid over my throat in an icy caress. I shrank back against the dank black wall. The bat fluttered in front of me. “Zoe.” The voice brought my stomach to my throat. Clammy beads of sweat broke out on my forehead. Dere!

“You thought you’d killed me, didn’t you?” His laugh echoed and reechoed in my head. I clasp it to stop the mad laughter.

“You can’t kill me, Zoe, but I can kill you.”

I screamed then but as in most dreams no sound came out, except a horrible moan that stuck in my throat.

The bat hovered in front of my face. He squealed and revealed fangs that dripped with saliva. I threw up my hands to protect my face. The rodent swooped in and bit my hand. The pain woke me.

Available at: