Tuesday, May 30, 2006


Due to my modem being on the fritz, I can't post to my blog as usual. At this very moment I am on a borrowed computer and on borrowed time. Please come back Wednesday when the Comcast people will hopefully make things all better. :D

In the meantime, as you wait with bated breath for Wednesday to come, go to Liquid Silver, buy my book, which is now on sale and read it!

Friday, May 26, 2006

Plodding Along

Nothing too exciting today. Just working on my Inca story. Come back Monday for the real news. Big news. Wanna go out and celebrate with some chili fries news.

Losing It

For months, biochemist Charlotte Gibson has secretly lusted over Ben Hayden while he’s been refurbishing her house. But there’s no way the sexy-as-sin carpenter would ever look twice at a Shrinking Charlotte like her.

Not one to mix business with pleasure, Ben has been trying to hide the fact that, when it comes to Charlotte, he’s got more than just a hammer in his pocket. But now that he’s found out her deepest, darkest secret, Ben’s going to show Charlotte just how happy he is to see her…

Buy It

4.5 Hearts from The Romance Studio (TRS)
Losing It is a fast-paced book....wonderfully written; the sex scenes are numerous and explicit, but not offensive. This work is an easy escape from doldrums and leaves a really fresh, fun feeling within. I loved the book and...I wholeheartedly recommend it.
--Brenda Talley of The Romance Studio

"Oooooh... Losing It is absolutely the most SMASHING e-book I've read in months! I was in love from the very first chapter. Such tender characterizations... (sigh) Thank you for an amazing and satisfying read. I'd been pretty discouraged lately by most of the e-books I've bought -- No more!
--Robin Rotham, author of Alien Overnight

"Losing It really had me bouncing between one of those sappy smiles and laughter on a continual basis. The sense of humor of the characters and their quirks really brought them to life. It was a short story and I really wished it had gone on longer..."
--Maura of JoyfullyReviewed.com

5 Angels from Fallen Angels Reviews (FAR)
Kate Willoughby tells a story that every woman should read. It has emotional scenes that will make you cry and laugh. The emotions that flow between the two characters are so overwhelming. Ben was funny. I intend to read more of Ms. Willoughby’s books.
--Moonluster of Fallen Angels Reviews

Blue Ribbon Rating of 4.5 From Romance Junkies
Losing It is a great read and will be over with before you know it. Charlotte is intelligent and spunky and readers will thoroughly enjoy her upbeat personality. Ben is one sexy handyman and knows how to use every one of his tools. The love scenes are steamy and will leave you sweating from the heat. Kate Willoughby has penned an entrancing story of two people finding love in a most unlikely situation.
--Angel of Romance Junkies

"I just had to write you in the middle of the night. [Losing It] is such a great feel-good book. I loved the characters, the quirky humor, everything about it. I read LSB books every now and then, usually one of the hundred or so that I've done a cover for, and this is only about the second or third time I felt the need to write the author about how much I loved the story. Definitely one of my favorites."
--April Martinez, Art Director, Liquid Silver Books

"Oh. My. God. So hot!"
--H.E. McVay, author of Scion's Rebirth and Avatar's Awakening


Thursday, May 25, 2006

Books That Stay With You

This Week's Question: What are some of your favorite books from childhood?

I have always been a voracious reader. If you look up "voracious reader" in the dictionary, there's a picture of me. My original question was to choose one favorite, but since that was impossible, I amended the question.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, by Roald Dahl - Part of me is saddened that so many children will be exposed to the inferior movie versions of this story before experiencing the book.

Charlotte's Web, by E.B. White - Another story that cannot, no matter how hard they try, be translated to the screen. This book makes me cry every single time I read it.

The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles, by Julie Edwards - This book has become on of my son's favorites, too. It was written by none other than Julie Andrews of Mary Poppins' fame. It's a sweet and wholesome fantasy story that talks about DNA and RNA before such concepts appeared with regularity on TV crime shows. Her character The Prock is deliciously sinister and unusual.

Happy Birthday to You!, by Dr. Seuss - I remember reading this over and over as a kid. Seuss' stuff was so fanciful. Fortunately, his stories DO go over well on TV!

The Great Brain series, by John D. Fitzgerald - This series of books entertained me to no end. Set in 1896, they were probably one of the reasons why I love historicals even now. They're about the adventures of a Tom Sawyer-like kid, told from the point of view of his younger brother. I highly recommend them.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

"The Wanderer Above The Sea of Fog"

This Week's Artwork: "The Wanderer Above The Sea of Fog" 1818, by Caspar David Friedrich

"The pure, frank sentiments we hold in our hearts are the only truthful sources of art. A painting which does not take its inspiration from the heart is nothing more than futile juggling. All authentic art is conceived at a sacred moment and nourished in a blessed hour; an inner impulse creates it, often without the artist being aware of it."
--Caspar David Friedrich (1774-1840)

Caspar Friedrich ascribed to the romantic school of painting, a deeply-felt style which is individualistic, exotic, beautiful and emotionally wrought.

I saw this painting in a catalog and fell in love with it. I immediately imagined this man contemplating his relationship with a woman. I'm a diehard romantic fool and proud of it.

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Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Calgon, Take Me Away!

This Week's Recommendation

All right. If the title of this blog entry sounds familiar, you're as old as I am! It comes from a commercial for bubble bath that aired on TV, oh, around the Cretaceous Era.

Anyway, the Philosophy company makes the most delicious bath products. I bought this Pumpkin Pie fragrance and love it. It smells so good that I wanted to type "flavor" instead of "fragrance!" It's a three-in-one product, so you can use it as a shampoo/conditioner, body wash, and/or bubble bath.

Oh, I just saw that they have one called "Falling In Love." Gotta get me some o'dat.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Bippity Boppity Boo

"The Slipper" by Tina Novinski, from the May 30th issue of Woman's World

Tagline: Kate wasn't exactly dressed for the ball when she met Mr. Prince

Novinski is one smart cookie. She took a fairy tale and put a fresh spin on it, which is popular. It seems like every genre has done it, and tweaking Cinderella for Woman's World is something I haven't seen in the two years I've been studying their romantic fiction.

The story starts out with a catastrophe and goes downhilll from there, at least from Kate's POV. Novinski had to do that in order to justify her tears and rush when she gets in the fender bender. Luckily, she fixed up the heroine midway by having her smile in the mirror. That little thing, plus the fact that she didn't remain gloomy for the rest of the day, redeemed the character for me and let me identify with her more strongly.

Best Part: "As I got into the car, my slipper fell off and I watched the blue fuzzy boat float away down the parking lot." I can totally picture that! Cute.
Worst Part: The guy's name was Michael Prince. I know the reason for it, but it still felt hokey to me.
Overall rating: 3.5
Originality: 4.5


Friday, May 19, 2006

Tick Tock Tick Tock

Yesterday I was tired from helping out with the sixth grade luau at school, but I had the afternoon to write. Did I write? Not a word. I was unsure what scene should follow the last one I had written, and I'm anal enough to have to write sequentially. I was antsy and angry with myself because I had the time, but wasn't doing anything with it.

That's when I realized that my biological clock is still ticking, but it's marking time for something else -- my appearance on the bestseller lists. Every minute I have to write, but don't, is a delay of my successful career. My inner critic doesn't berate me for bad writing as much as it does for NOT writing.

And yet, today I'm feeling better. I woke up this morning at 5:30 with an idea of where to go next. So, perserverance, even through just an afternoon of indecision and doubt, pays off.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Dinner with the Dead

This week's question: If you could have dinner with any author, living or dead, who would it be and what would you have your personal chef serve?

I would dine with Mr. Dennis Prager. I admire this man so much. I listen to his radio talk show as often as I can. I enjoy listening to him because I share his values, but more than that, I like how clearly he is able to talk about issues and the respect with which he treats his guests and callers. He never bullies someone, yells, talks over them, or manipulates them verbally.

He's written many books, but my favorite is Happiness is a Serious Problem." It's a book all about how we can be happier and why pursuing our own happiness is a moral obligation. Interesting idea, isn't it? I need to pick that one up again and reread it.

Anyway, I think I'd serve as many courses as I could so the evening would last longer. Oh, he's Jewish, but I'm not sure if he keeps Kosher, so I'd have to find that out.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

The Sistine

A couple of years ago I came across an old issue of National Geographic in which they reported on the controversial restoration of the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. The article fascinated me so much that I ended up reading the book, Michelangelo and the Pope's Ceiling by Ross King.

When I saw the Sistine back in 1985, the restoration had not even started, so while I was awed by the scope and majesty of the masterpiece, it was dark and covered with centuries of soot, varnish, and grime. You couldn't help but get the impression that Michelangelo was a tortured person with a dismal grasp on the use of color. And who could blame the man? Painting on his back for years?

Ha! I discovered in the King book that that's a myth. Michelangelo actually built an elaborate, moveable scaffolding that the restorers used as a model when building their own for the restoration. And his use of color...genius. Judging from photographs in The Sistine Chapel by Michael Hirst, the ceiling is ten times more breathtaking now.

Here is one of my favorite areas even if the figure is so obviously a man's body with a woman's hairdo and dress. (Click on the title of this entry to see a bigger version of this picture.) But look at the color! It's gorgeous! And even more amazing is the fact that the ceiling was curved and was to be viewed from so far away, and yet Michelangelo managed to make the paintings look so real through his mastery of foreshortening. Oh, and did I mention that the art of fresco requires that you have to paint extremely fast while the fresh plaster is wet, because otherwise the pigment won't be absorbed and made permanent?

Ah, yeah. The man was amazing.

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Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Sunset Key

This week I'm tickled to recommend a book by a good friend of mine, Jax Crane. Jax and her writing partner Amanda combined their talents in this short novella. There's one particular line about being a daughter that made me laugh out loud. They did a fantastic job setting me in the Florida Keys, a place I've never visited, and the electricity, both from the weather and between the characters, was sizzling. Obviously, I'm not the only one who enjoyed it. Their book is one of the top sellers from Phaze's Surge Series.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Put Love into the Equation

From the May 23rd issue of Woman's World: "Simple Math" by Kathleen O'Connor.

Tagline: To Miriam, it all added up: 1+1= the perfect couple!

If we analyze this story it's easy to see why Johnene (the fiction edtior) bought it.

1. O'Connor used three story elements that are popular with Woman's World: the matchmaker, a family member, and an altruistic pastime.

2. The author did a fantastic job showing how Lauren's feelings were developing, even though she hadn't met Matt yet. I saw three places in which this happened. (Feel free to comment on where you saw it occuring in the story.)

3. She also managed to include a lengthy description of Matt, something that always challenges me.

4. She skillfully slips in the bit about the disastrous date and how difficult it's been for them to socialize, establishing availability right inside the story, instead of as an explanatory sentence. Up until now we still had some doubt as to whether Matt had a girlfriend.

You will notice that O'Connor opens with backstory, but that is sometimes necessary in a Woman's World story. Backstory is the history of what has happened to a character(s) before the story begins. Aspiring writers are often instructed to never dump it on the reader at the beginning because it slows or even stops the story. However, when you are restricted to 1100 words, you sometimes cannot dribble backstory in bit by bit, like you can in a novel.

Best Part: "Lauren sipped her coffee and realized that her hand was shaking a bit." This made my heart do a little hopeful jig as I thought, "Oh, she's got it bad!"
Worst Part: It was difficult to find a part that I didn't care for, but I did find the choice of a wallet for someone's graduation from medical school to be odd.
Sweetness: 4
Originality: 3.5


Friday, May 12, 2006

Ahh, the POWER!

My website designer, Jax, came to my house today and gave me a tutorial on how to update my website myself. I cannot tell you how excited I am. Now I can keep the place current without bothering my busy designer.

I am drunk with the power and have just spent a couple of hours fiddling with it when I should be working on the photo album I plan to give my mother on Sunday for Mother's Day!

I added a link to this blog from the contact page. I set up a mailing list. I've added a bunch of "behind the scenes" stuff, finally, about my upcoming release, LOSING IT, from Liquid Silver Books. And I changed the blurb about LOSING IT to a much tighter, catchier version.

Mwah ha ha ha. I love control. :D

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Casting Call

Question of the Week: If someone were to make a movie of your life, who would you want to play you?

This is tough because there just aren't that many Asian actresses to choose from. My first thought was Lucy Liu, but she's just to glamorous and striking, which is not me from head to toe! So, I think I'd pick Ming Na Wen.

How about you?

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

The Essence of a Person

The challenge of portrait painting is to capture the personality of the subject. Amadeo Mogdigliani (1884-1920) was a master of this art. Like many of the great artists, he was afflicted with nasty diseases--typhoid, then tuberculosis--and he regularly indulged in hashish. Despite his questionable personal life, I do admire his work.

Here is the Portrait of Jeanne Hébuterne (1898 -1920), Common-Law Wife of Amedeo Modigliani. 1918. The features are indistinct, but that doesn't bother me. What I like is the casual feeling of the portrait, and I'm pretty sure Jeanne was pregnant here. It was painted in 1918, and on November 29 of that year, Jeanne Hébuterne gave birth to a girl, who was recognized by Modigliani as his daughter. I like the idea that this is a sort of everlasting tribute to her as the mother of his child.

Unfortunately, Jeanne committed suicide the day after he he died from tuberculosis. According to Olga's Gallery, "They were buried together in the Père Lachaise cemetery. Their orphan daughter Jeanne (1918-1984) was adopted by Modigliani’s sister in Florence; later she would write an important biography of her father, Modigliani: Man and Myth." A sad ending, but a great artist.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

What's in a Name?

I was researching names a few months ago and came across many name generating sites. Here are some of my favorites.

My fairy name is Hex Goblinshimmer.

My Pokemon name is Squirvee. I live in the snowy valleys of Antarctica, and my diet consists mostly of donuts, meatballs and wine. I have a fear of lava. I can swim in air. I have a cell phone. I can eat acid, resist nunchucks, and breathe jet fuel!

My Jedi name is Wilka Lalos of the Planet Viagra.

My goddamn rock solid ghetto shiznit name is Stim-U-L8 Shizzlemah

Bling, bling, dawg.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Monday Mini-Review: From the May 16th issue of Woman's World: "Maggie's Garden" by JoAnn Bennett, where love blooms.

This was your quintessential Woman's World story, nicely done. Ms. Bennett's got the three act structure going and moves the pace along briskly. She has a daughter involved and a helpful hero, Ethan.

Best Part: She did a great job inserting backstory and developing the relationship in one short paragraph--which told, and didn't show--their conversation. In stories as short as these must be, sometimes you can't show everything real-time.

Worst Part: I had no complaints about this story at all.

Sweetness Rating: 4/5

Originality: 4/5


Friday, May 05, 2006

As Bright as the Sun

I've decided to enter the Phaze Heat Sheet Contest. This time they want erotic romance set in the sensual heat of South America. I brainstormed a terrific idea last night, did some research, and am ready to go. The deadline is June 4th, so I have to get a move on!

First thing on the agenda is character names. I found three Incan male names: Amaru, Ispaca, and Tiwanku, plus, a nickname for the heroine: Quenti, meaning hummingbird. These guys are Incas, cursed to non-existence, except for the twelve days before the winter solstice, during which they appear in our world with a task that they must all three perform together. As usual, I have almost no inkling about the heroine!

This is a picture of a suspension bridge along the Inca trail leading to the ruins of Macchu Picchu. I picture something significant happening here.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Is There A Doctor in the House?

This Week's Recommendation: House

I do not watch a lot of TV, even though I actually highly admire TV writers. They must come up with great stories weekly. Talk about pressure! Anyway, I miss a lot of great stories because of this, so I've come to rely on DVDs to catch up on series that I hear about. House is one such show.

I very much enjoyed Hugh Laurie's portrayal of Mr. Palmer in the 1995 movie, Sense and Sensibility. He stole every scene he was in. So when I heard he was in a TV show, I was interested. After renting the DVD of the first season, I am now hooked on the show. His character, Gregory House, is so irreverant and downright mean sometimes, and yet somehow I can't help liking him. He's the quintessential wounded hero. I long to see him redeemed by love, almost as much as I wish he could find a razor.

Anyway, it's an excellent show and I can't recommend it highly enough.

Secrets, Volume 15

This week's recommendation: Secrets, Volume 15, by Jane Thompson, Cynthia Eden, Saskia Walker, and Leigh Court. It's my privilege to know both Jane and Leigh and they're wonderful women and extremely talented, as you'll find out if you read their book. You can find a more thorough review from me here.

Monday, May 01, 2006

New Review Feature

I'm going to start writing very short reviews of the romance stories that appear in Woman's World magazine, a publication in which my work sometimes appears. I'm in the process of developing an online class for writers who might like similar success with this magazine, and this will help me zero in on what the editors like. So, you all will have to suffer!

From the May 9th issue of Woman's World: "The Prom" by Lynn Olcott, in which Laura realizes it's never too late to enjoy dressing up, dancing with a handsome man and, maybe, falling in love.

I found the use of first person, present tense unwieldly, but the premise was cute. The ending fell a little flat, for me.

Best Part: "Would you like to..." he seems to be searching for an appropriate invitation for almost one in the morning. This made me laugh. Poor guy!

Worst Part: She is as lovely as a flower. Oh, a writer should be able to come up with a more descriptive simile than this.

Sweetness Rating: 3/5

Originality: 3.5/5