Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Xandra Gregory Spotlight

Xandra Gregory lives in the corn belt of the United States, but her writing is anything but corny. (Unlike that pun. *coughs*) She writes steamy paranormal/alien romance. She has only two books available so far, but is making quite a splash in the publishing world. One reviewer said of Alien Communion, “How many ways are there for one to say “Wow”? She's also a funny lady as you'll be able to tell both from her website bio and the questions and answers below. Enjoy!

Is there any of yourself in the heroine of Alien Communion, Rayne Warren, or is she purely a creation of your own imagination?

Well, all of my characters are a little bit of me. In Rayne's case, she's a smart and driven woman, but she's let some of her femininity fall by the wayside in favor of cold logic. I've been known to "think too much" myself. :)

Which authors have influenced you, and how? Do you think you've absorbed any of their skill by osmosis or even by design?

My favorite author is Terry Pratchett, and I'm sure I've absorbed some worldview thanks to his wonderful satire. I find that when I discover a new author, I absorb more of the worldviews expressed in their stories, rather than a particular writing technique. I really enjoy Nora Roberts' stories, but I couldn't jump POVs the way she does, for example. However, Nora, Jayne Ann Krentz, and others like them, have characters who share an outlook on life that I relate to.

I'm currently into Jim Butcher's Harry Dresden series, as well. I avoided it for a long time because I was writing something in the Urban Fantasy subgenre and I didn't want to unconsciously echo anything in that universe.

If one of your books was made into a movie, who would play the lead characters? Why?

My inspiration for the hero of my current WIP is a cross between Travis Flimmel and Cary Elwes back in his Princess Bride days. Travis has that young and innocent look (my hero looks innocent--he's a dirty bird, but looks like an altar boy, LOL!), and Cary Elwes' Westley has his mannerisms (in spite of being a dirty bird, he's quite an honorable guy).

The hero of Alien Communion is, of course, an alien. Tell me why the reader will fall in love with him. And can you share what the physical differences are between human and Alcaini males, or is that something that can only be divulged in the book?

Well, he's twice the man of any Earthling, LOL! ;) Tai'en is a man who knows what he wants, and isn't afraid to go after it, even when it gets him in trouble with his people. He thinks outside the box and isn't afraid of the consequences, which makes him dead sexy to Rayne (and me, too, LOL!) His own choices have led him to be more accepting of others, making him a perfect partner to free Rayne's mind and body. :)

If you could do the nasty with anyone, living or dead, who would it be? Why?

Do fictional characters count? :D Because I think I could go for a round or two with Han Solo or Indiana Jones. If you're talking real-life, then probably Weird Al Yankovic, because there would likely be trampolines and accordions involved, and polka music can really get a girl goin'!

What did you want to be when you grew up?

A writer. I've always known I would be a writer. Boring, innit?

When I’m not writing, I’m pulling espresso at Starbucks. Got a favorite drink there?

Gingerbread Latte for the holidays, Cafe Mocha for regular visits, Iced Tazo Passion Tea Lemonade for hot summer days, and a Vanilla Bean Frappuccino when the kids want to share Mom's drink. And a triple-chocolate chunk cookie.

Would you rather be a little smarter or a little sexier?

A little smarter, because a good bra works wonders for upping the sexy. And since my mind is my biggest erogenous zone, more smarts leads to more sexy for me!

What would you do with $1000 in spare cash?

Hrmm. My first instinct is to do the responsible thing and put it towards bills or the kids' college fund. But what I'd love to do with $1000 in spare cash is take a cross-country train trip again, in the sleeper car, and just watch the country go by with a laptop on my lap and my family nearby (but occupied, leaving me to sightsee and write!)

Tell me about your release (October, Liquid Silver Books), “Hounded” in the A Witch in Time anthology.

"Hounded" is hopefully the start of a series of tales taking place in the colonized Solar system of the future--a system we humans share with more than just ourselves.

It was only supposed to be a simple bargain with the Moon Goddess, or so Lin Itoh thought. Until she discovers the hot stranger she just had a very intimate encounter with is actually Rex, one of Diana's Hounds. The Hound Lin is supposed to be looking for.

Things get even more complicated when Lin discovers Rex had very good reason for leaving. And even better reason for not being found.

To keep the inner solar system from erupting into chaos, Rex and his Packmate Max must show Lin that their animal instincts are exactly what she needs to heal the ailing Moon Goddess...and her own remote heart.


When Xandra says that Tai'en is twice the man of any Earthling, that really makes me wonder if she means that literally. I guess the only way to find out is to read the book! Visit her at her website or the Star-Crossed Romance Authors' Blog. Thanks, Xandra. It was a pleasure!!


Monday, October 30, 2006

Using the C Word

If all goes according to plan, my newest release should be out today from Moxie Press! It's quite a bit more graphic than my other books have been, so be warned. On a scale of one to ten, one being suitable for your grandmother to read, I'd say H.T. is a nine. So, be prepared for some very graphic language and situations.

Here's a blurb: When young Fiona Sheridan decides to test her feminine wiles on Rockwell, her stepfather's business associate, she unwittingly sets off a hostile takeover -- of herself. Desperate to sell the failing family business, her stepfather will give Rockwell anything...including the chance to have Fiona.

Under normal circumstances, Rockwell would probably have walked away from Sheridan Textiles, but the idea of Fiona naked and subject to his every whim is much too tempting so he offers her a deal she can't resist.

Will his takeover bid succeed, or will Fiona give the devil his due...with interest?"

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Butler Art

You might recognize this image. It's a painting by Jack Vettriano, one of my favorite artists. He has some amazingly romantic work, like this painting, The Singing Butler, but he also has some seriously sexy, provocative work as well.

I mean, check that second painting out, the one with the woman up against the wall. It's called Game On. I really love it. I wish I could hang it on my bedroom wall. If I was single, I would. Unfortunately, it's too provocative for my kids to look at. The third painting is called Surrender, for obvious reasons. Notice how her leg is outside of the arm of the chair. Heh heh.

So, today I got an email because someone had found from this blog that I like Jack Vettriano's paintings. They asked me to fill out a survey for which they'll enter me in a drawing to win a print or canvas of my choice. Well, that did it. I HAD to fill out the survey! I know I probably won't win, but a girl can hope, can't she?


Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Emily Veinglory Spotlight

A native of New Zealand, Emily Veinglory is a cauldron of creativity. In addition to writing books and poetry, she's a talented artist and photographer. Today, of course, we'll focus on her writing. Her genre of choice is specific: homosexual romance with paranormal or fantasy elements. Released in May, The Sculptor's Muse, has something in common with the story I just sold to Ellora's Cave, A Man of Vision, both heroes being sculptors. I love finding things I have in common with authors that I spotlight. Let's find out if you have anything in common with her!

Which of your characters would you like to meet? Why?

Oh, probably Giffen (Maewyn Prophecy series, Loose Id) because although he is a bit of a smart ass he is based on and old flame who I would be happy to run into any time, any place.

I see that you have written about shapeshifters and are a vampire enthusiast. If you could be a shapeshifter, would you? What about a vampire?

I always freak people out by saying I would be a were rat--not turning into a giant rats but a swarm of normal-sized ones with super intelligence. At about this point in the conversation they tend to remember they left the oven turned on or some urgent appointment. I think that rats are the coolest animal alive.

What is the most unusual place/situation in which your characters have had sex?

I am a terrible traditionalist. In a recent story they are having sex quite normally on the sofa when they TV news shows that the police are swarning towards the house to arrest them...and they still have trouble stopping. That was sort of an odd sex scene. Oh, and one where the man was about to get eaten by a werewolf girl and had to turn her on sexually to avoid being dinner. The weirdness in my sex tends to be psychological not geographical.

You write gay fiction, a market that seems to be getting quite popular. If you could be a man for a day, what would you do?

Hmm. I really prefer the fantasy to the reality. I would certainly do a lot of private, um, research--to see what things feel like. I have had very vivid dreams about being a man and having sex as a man, but I do wonder how realistic they are....

Please don't think I'm asking this next question with a snarky attitude, but do you have gay male friends you rely on for research?

I have only a couple of aquaintances who are gay and they do not know I write--so, no. I use my imagination, common sense and the internet. It is a balance anyway between writing characters who are realistic but who also satisfy the romance genre requirements.

Do you have tattoos? If so, what/where are they? If not, where would you get one and what would you get?

No. I am not really interested in tattoos because my tastes change very quickly and I couldn't pick anything I would like next year, let alone for the rest of my life. I also don't like how they look when they age and bleed out a bit. I did think about geting a small rat because I love rats and it is my Chinese [zodiac] animal, maybe on the small of my back so it would just show with low jeans.

Tell me something about you that very few people know.

Um, I am extremely allergic to tamarillos (it's a type of fruit). Boring, but true.

Name some of your favorite books.

The Vintner's Luck by Elizabeth Knox, Swordpoint by Ellen Kushner, the autiobiographies of BF Skinner and my collections of Cavalier poetry and poetry by New Zealand writers.

The big decision you're currently wrestling with is…

What jobs to go for, my current contract runs out in about a year and I need to plan ahead if I want to stay in the U.S.

Tell me about your work-in-progress.

I always have several. Freelance--a sci fi adventure with a bioengineered male prostitute; To Love in Fall (for Cobblestone)--Wiccan M/F romance from the male point of view; The Temptation of Sebastian (for Torquere)--a Boer war veteran accidentally awakes an old god; Coming In (for Loose Id)--a young man moves back to his home town and finds his old flame is stil there, and still in the closet; and Son of a Bitch (for Torquere) a redneck werewolf meets an uptight big city executive... oh, and a few others.]

See what I mean about her being a creative cauldron? Wow. I can only work on one, maybe two, manuscripts at a time. Kudos to Emily. As always, I thank her for being my guest and invite you to visit her website and blog.


Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Size Matters

Time for a recommendation. This is my favorite writing implement in the whole entire world, and I'm a pen and pencil aficionado from way back. The reason? It's all about the eraser. You know how most mechanical pencils come with this dinky little eraser that lasts about two days? Well, this baby from Pentel has an eraser that's relatively huge! You twist the barrel and you'll see you've easily got a whole entire inch of erasing power.

I know, I know. You're thinking to yourself, "How very unusual that a woman is getting so excited about a mere inch..." But, there ya go. I'm strange.


Monday, October 23, 2006

Help Me Choose

I am starting a new book. The working title is "Fortune." The hero is named Alex Thibauldault. He's a staid, reliable professional man who is tired of the rat race and to everyone's shock--even his own--he walks away from his job as an attorney to invest in a restaurant with a woman he just met.

Her name is Sabrina. She's a bit of a rebel in her appearance, but classically trained as a chef. She dreams of opening her own restaurant, but needs a partner with some cash. Enter Alex, of course.

So, I have three last names for her that I like. Roundtree. Lippincott. Griffin.

Which do you like?

I also have to change the last name of one of my heroes. He's an Italian sculptor and his first name is Cristoforo. Here are the choices: Contarini. Calabrese. Valtieri. (If it goes well with Delphine, the heroine's name, that's good, too. You know, for the Happily Ever After thingy.)

Friday, October 20, 2006

I Scream, You Scream

Not for ice cream, but for it's Italian counterpart: GELATO. OMG. I love gelato. It's a good thing I don't shop at Whole Foods Market very often, because they have a gelato bar there that is very tempting. Here is some interesting info about this Italian treat from the gelato Wiki, VirtualItalia.com, and PizzaToday.com.

Gelato is said to have been first created by Bernardo Buontalenti for the court of Francesco de Medici in 1565.

Gelato is typically made with fresh fruit or other ingredients such as chocolate (pure chocolate, flakes, chips, candies, truffles, etc.), nuts, small candies, sweets, or cookies.

Traditional gelato contains about 20 percent air by volume, compared to up to 60 percent in American-style ice cream. And the creamy consistency is derived from 12 percent butterfat (ice cream has about 15 to 16 percent butterfat).

So it's slightly less fattening! :)

Gelato is served from a different freezer than American style ice cream—a forced air freezer—which is usually held at about -15°C (0–6°F). This allows the gelato to be served immediately after being extruded from the gelato machine—the "forced air" blowing around holds the product at a consistent temperature. The best gelato is made fresh daily.

And I could totally eat it daily. If you haven't ever tried it, you should.


Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Katherine Warwick Spotlight

Author Katherine Warwick has carved out a unique niche for herself in the romance genre in that her books take place within the uber-graceful world of ballroom dancing. If you think about it, what could be more romantic than that? Readers have used words like "classy," "sexy," "engaging," and "enchanting" to describe her books.

Your books are dance themed. Do you have personal experience with ballroom dancing?

My mom taught ballroom to our church youth group when I was younger, so picked up basics then. I was usually the boy part!

I really enjoy ballroom dance movies. What was your favorite?

"Take the Lead" followed by "Shall We Dance."

Have you ever cried while writing an emotional scene?

Not while writing, but I have on edits afterwards.

Do you have any pet peeves with romance novels?

Not really. As an author, I try to give other authors the benefit of the doubt.

Tell me about the most romantic thing that's ever happened to you.

An ex bofriend was a singer. He sang to me one night in the moonlight. He also wrote a song for me.

If you couldn't live in Utah, where would you want to live?

I'd live in New York City if I had the money that could duplicate my lifestyle.

Imagine that you're a man. What would be the best part of being the opposite sex?

Eating whatever you want and not getting fat!

What's your favorite possession?

My yellow Mini Cooper

I see you write both adult and YA (young adult) romance. Do you find it difficult to switch gears between genres?

No. It's a great transition when I need a break, in fact.

I saw pictures of your beautiful daughters on your website. Do they read your novels?

They give me great feedback and they're both voracious readers. I love that they are following in my footsteps and writing also!

Wow. Sounds like a writing dynasty in the making! I'd like to thank Katherine for being my guest today and encourage everyone to check out her website and blog.


Tuesday, October 17, 2006

And the Winner Is...

B.S. Royce!

Kate: Johnny, tell her what she's won!

Johnny: In honor of Kate's book, Leap of Faith, B.S. Royce will be getting the lovely, imported llama jewelry box! Congratulations!

Kate: Thanks to everyone who entered. I wish you better luck on the next contest I have. :)

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Doing It for Money

A couple of days ago I found out that Ellora's Cave wants to publish one of my stories in their 2007 Caveman Anthology Series. (Still on Cloud 9.) In my novella, A Man of Vision, the heroine is a modern day courtesan. Here is a little trivia about courtesans gathered from Desirata, the official courtesan fanlisting and an article on Salon.com by Christina Valhouli. (The painting is "The Nude Maja" by Francisco de Goya.)

Once upon a time courtesans were the most powerful and learned women in the world. They were taught languages, philosophy, and sometimes the only women allowed in the library. The best courtesans were those whose wit and company were desired more than their bodies.

I think it would have killed me not to be allowed in a library!

[Venetian] courtesans were companions for bankers, princes, prelates and merchants. Known for their wit, charm and elegance, they palled around with the most important and powerful men of their day. They wrote novels, published poems and influenced politics, often delivering political messages from pillow to pillow.

According to Mateo Bandello's 16th century book "Novelle," high-level courtesans would have six or seven lovers, each assigned to a different night of the week and each giving her a monthly "salary." This, of course, necessitated intricate scheduling and lover-shuffling in the days before cellphones and organizers.

I don't know why this lifestyle intrigues me so much. If you'd like to see this type of thing in action, rent the movie "Dangerous Beauty," which chronicles the life of a famous Venetian courtesan, Veronica Franco. And if you want to hire a male courtesan and have a few extra hundred bucks, you can even go here. I found his photo gallery to be particularly, er, interesting.


Friday, October 13, 2006

Me Cavewoman!

Ellora's Cave wants my story, A Man of Vision, for their 2007 Caveman Anthology Series! I am completely flabbergasted, since I did not expect for them to like it. And to hear from them only ten days after submission! I'm still floating on air and if you see me with a sappy grin on my face it's because I'm realizing that I'm going to finally have a book in a brick and mortar bookstore!


Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Kimberly Holt-Whitlock Spotlight

Kimberly Holt-Whitlock wears many hats: wife, mother, taxi-driver, not-so-gourmet chef, housekeeper, laundry service, and all-round errand runner, yet she manages to find time to write. Good thing, too, because Lit Wit of Literary Sass said of Kimberly's book, Fading Illusions, "Oprah would love this sh*t." What high praise!

So, without further ado, let's find out about this up and coming author who may someday be featured with Oprah's Book Club.

Is there any of yourself in Laynee Morgan, the heroine of Fading Illusions, or is she purely a creation of your own imagination?

While Laynee is purely fictional, there are definitely bits and pieces of me in a lot of my characters, including Laynee. Little quirks, bad habits, hobbies...things like that.

Name some of your favorite books (ones that other people have written! LOL.)

My all-time favorite is The Sun Also Rises by Hemingway. He used such sharp, lean prose, and there are a few lines in each of his stories that make the whole thing worth reading. Quits by M.E Ellis was easily the best e-book I've ever read, and easily makes my top five favorites of all-time. I'm also fond of absolutely everything written by Larry McMurtry (Lonesome Dove, The Last Picture Show) and anything by Nicholas Evans (The Loop, The Smoke Jumper). I'll stop there, my reading list goes on and on, hehe.

Tell me about the most romantic thing that's ever happened to you.

I'm not into the typically romantic dozen roses type thing...but a few years ago when hubby realized I was really serious about writing, he went out and bought me a laptop. That is top notch romance in my book.

Is there a skill you don't have, but wish you did?

Cooking. This is something I'm sure my husband wishes I did well also. I am a terrible cook. I burn. I lack imagination in the kitchen so we eat a staple of take-out and the five meals I can manage to make without burning down the house.

If you could only watch one movie again for the rest of you life, what would it be?

Breakfast at Tiffanys or Season One of The O.C. ;)

If you could spend a week anywhere in the world, where would it be and what's the story you'd write about it? (You know, so you could claim the trip as a write-off.)

Catalina Island. A cruise we took a few years ago for our anniversary made a day stop at Catalina, and I absolutely fell in love. It's so gorgeous and how can you not love a place surrounded by sunny beaches. There is actually a chapter in Fading Illusions that takes place on Catalina.

I have two sons. You have three! What is their opinion of your writing?

Well, mine are all fairly young (7, 4, and 3) so they don't have a lot to say about it. Though I think it's been great for my oldest, who is seven, and writes his own stories. He also reads like a maniac, which I'm totally taking credit for.

What would your "I'd rather be…" bumper sticker say?

I'd rather be staring at a blank Word document

Do you have a favorite quote?

Forget your personal tragedy. We are all bitched from the start and you especially have to be hurt like hell before you can write seriously. But when you get the damned hurt, use it--don't cheat with it. ~Ernest Hemingway

Lastly, tell me about your work-in-progress, Confessions of a Serial Bitch.
Confessions of a Serial Bitch is a series of three novellas, each one based on the experiences of Hadley, Claire, and Lucy (three best friends). These have been a lot of fun to write. I've given myself an opportunity to do and say all the bitchy things I never say in real life, hehe. The first in the series, which is due out soon with Freya's Bower, revolves around Hadley, who is going through a sticky divorce. Her husband is refusing to sign papers, but Hadley is willing to do whatever it takes to persuade him to jot down his John Hancock.

I'd like to thank Kimberly for being in the spotlight this week. I encourage you to visit her at her website or blog.


Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Sex Stats for A Man of Vision

Just for fun, I worked out some stats for A Man of Vision, the story I just sent to Ellora's Cave.

Number of Sex Scenes: 5
Shortest Sex Scene: 409 words
Longest Sex Scene: 1850 words
Sex percentage: 40%

Forty percent! That's almost half the book! Sheesh.

Here's a blurb, in case you're curious.

For Cristoforo de Medici, sculpting marble is his life, but the price of creation is a libido that rides him like a demon. When he discovers his days as a sculptor are numbered, he seeks out a mistress, available to satisfy him night and day.

As a modern-day courtesan, Delphine Alexander arrives at de Medici’s villa prepared for the rigors of being on call 24/7, especially since she negotiated an exorbitant amount of Euros in exchange for her services. What she isn’t prepared for, however, is the intensity of her body’s response to Cristoforo, and when she learns what it is driving him so ruthlessly, she wonders if she can protect her heart or if it’s already too late.


Monday, October 09, 2006

The Eppies 2007

I succumbed to temptation and entered Losing It in the Eppies 2007. My critique partner, D'Anne Avner, encouraged me to give it a try and I always do what she says. Not! (LOL, D'Anne!) I'll be notified of the results during the first week of December, right about the time when I find out from Ellora's Cave about A Man of Vision. That'll be...an interesting time.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Dayle A. Dermatis Spotlight

Dayle A. Dermatis has so many aliases, you'd think she was a spy! She isn't. She's a highly versatile writer of science fiction, romance, and erotic novels. Her writing credits go on so long that on her webpage, you have to expand and collapse them. (Someday, I'll have that problem! LOL)

Tell me about your writing routine.

I wish I had one! It's a goal of mine... I've always written better at night, I think in part because I don't have to think about what other appointments I might have to interrupt me. I've just never settled into one routine. I do have a "sexy songs" playlist that I listen to, especially when writing erotica. Once I'm in the groove, though, it doesn't matter where I am or what's going on around me.

Do you have a weakness for certain themes, storylines, settings, or such in your reading and/or writing? What are they?

I grew up reading fantasy, so I love paranormals. I've lived in Wales and have set stories and books there, plus I enjoy reading books set there. (Scotland's gorgeous, but it's a wee bit overdone for me.) I love gamma/bad boy heroes. I love smoking hot sex scenes that forward the emotional arc of the characters.

What has been the most difficult part of writing for you?

Procrastination. I do it too much, and it makes me question my resolve. But then I remember that I started my first novel when I was 12, and got my first rejection slip on my 16th birthday (from Seventeen magazine), and I know that while I might mess around on a given day, I've never given up on my dream. Oh, and I hate revision.

Who in your life has supported you the most in your writing?

Oh, goodness, so many people! I've been so lucky in that regard. My parents, even though they never truly understood and tried to make me be a lawyer instead. My husband, definitely: we'd barely gotten together when he said his goal was to make enough money so I could quit and write full-time. My friends Sarah and Teresa (not only longtime friends, by my co-authors on the first two books I sold).

What is the most unusual place/situation in which your characters have had sex?

In a hot tub filled with seawater (the hero was a merman) ("Stranger to My Shore," short story, unsold); in a stone circle on Anglesey, Wales ("Catalyst," short story; at a rock concert (she's in the audience, he's on stage with the remote control...) (A Little Night Music, sold to Cheek Books, June 2007); in the back of a Brinks truck ("The Brinks Job," Sex on the Move anthology, 2006)...

What does your name mean? Does it fit you?

I originally thought "Mouette" meant a small kiss, but it actually is a seagull! Our tagline is "It's pronounced 'Mmm, wet!'" so I suppose it fits me well enough!

What makes you laugh?

Eddie Izzard.

What are you reading right now?

Sharon Shinn's Mystic and Rider.

Gabe Sullivan is the hero of Cat Scratch Fever. Tell me why the reader will fall in love with him.

He's a reformed bad boy with a weakness for big cats and and a drive to do charity and preservation work. Plus he's sexy as hell. (In my mind, he looks a lot like Sawyer from Lost, and I kept having to stop myself from having him call the heroine "darlin'" in a Southern accent, because he's from New York!)

I think Gabe Sullivan sounds pretty darned hot, almost as hot as that book cover! Gotta love big cats. Cheetahs have long been my favorite animal.

I hope everyone's enjoyed getting to know Sophie "Seagull!" Look for A Little Night Music (under the name Sarah Dale) coming out June 2007 from Cheek books, and visit her beautiful website and blog.


Thursday, October 05, 2006

Five Good Things

Woman's World Review: "Simple Solution" by Walda Cameron, from the October 10th issue of Woman's World

Tagline: All Hannah and Jim had was love--and that was all they needed...

This was a story about an already established couple going through some hard times. I liked this story, probably because I can relate. Every marriage has it's rocky periods. The heroine, Hannah, thinks her husband is having an affair, and of course, the reader knows he's not -- not in a Woman's World story! I did think that Hannah acted immaturely, but that left lots of room for her to grow, which she did.

Best Part: The ending was strong. I felt very hopeful for this couple. My heart was affected more with this story than most of the others, probably because the stakes were higher. This couple risked the loss of a marriage. Usually it's just "Will they date each other?"

Just My Humble Opinion: "How long have you carried this burden alone?" This line doesn't sound like something a person would actually say in real life.

Grade: B+

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Stella and Audra Price Spotlight

Stella Price is one half of a prolific writing duo. She and her sister, Audra, have created a universe inhabited by a host of otherworldly beings. Like Kayelle Allen, whom I interviewed last week, they have paid an incredible amount of attention to detail. In fact, they have an entire blog dedicated to the different races of their world. But let's not leave our own world just yet. Stay and find out a little more about Stella.

Tell me how you go about writing with a partner.

Writing with a partner isn’t as hard as everyone seems to think it is, or maybe it's because I’m writing with my sister. Audra and I are always on the same page, and we feed off each others ideas. In actual mechanicals we keep it simple. One of us writes one part exclusively while the other writes the other part. So in a relationship where you have two people, it really is two people exclusively in each head. Did that make any sense? With secondary characters, we switch back and forth, depending whose character is talking to whom. And all dialogs are done over IM so it’s like an actual conversation.

You have a Café Press store. Would you recommend that to other writers?

I love our café Press store. I don’t promo it a lot, not yet at least, but it’s a great way to get your stuff out there. I had 5 years in the music business touring with bands and I noticed one major thing-- t-shirts equal publicity people pay to have the honor of wearing. Now while that’s true for bands, I figured why not have it work for us as well. So I made the graphics to actually coincide with our Eververse series. Once that’s out, fans will have the chance to show what demon races they support in the books. I’m really looking forward to seeing someone wearing a Eververse t-shirt or hoodie. It's going to be so cool!

You’ve created Eververse, a world inhabited by different races: demons, genies, fey, witches, psychics, and dragons. If you had to live your life as one, which would you choose and why?

Definitely Demon. They are our first loves. And if we are going one further, I would say I would be a Conglacio, or Ice demon. Out of nine demon races, they are the ones we write about most often. Hell, the entire Eververse series revolves around them. But if I couldn’t pick Conglacio, I would have to pick a Strigo, who are the time demons. To be able to stop time...so cool.

What was your favorite book when you were twelve?

Ooh...didn’t I block twelve out? I might have, seeing as I think I blocked out all of middle school and most of high school. I was into the Christopher Pike books back then so it would have probably been his book Remember Me. My cousins got me into them and I liked to scare myself before I went to sleep.

If you had to live out one of your stories, which would it be? Why?

JUST ONE?!? LOL Well if I had to pick just one, I think it would have to be Sugar and Sin. The heroine in it gets, not one, but TWO dishy demons at her beck and call, two men both powerful and extremely sexy, not to mention she’s a powerful witch as well. Wealthy, beautiful and has two of the most deadly men in the Afterverse lusting over her? Count me in...

Now, for some more off the wall questions. If you could win an Olympic medal, what sport would it be in?

Ooh! I wanna win at curling! That crazy sport my sister's ancestors thought up is hysterical. I have heard from her though that the Scots haven’t won an Olympic Curling medal in ages.

If you could have dinner with any author, living or dead, who would
you choose and what would you eat?

Anais Nin. Honestly they had sex with words. My love of erotica was stroked with the book Delta of Venus and I would love just to be there you know, with a person so verbally erotic. As for food? Well, I’m a big fan of sushi...

What would you do with $1000 in spare cash?

Grab Audra a plane ticket and have her come visit for a while. She needs to be in the States more often.

What is the best advice you’ve ever gotten?

Hmm. That would be to always listen to your gut. That advice helped a lot in a lot of places in my life, and it’s the only thing that you can be really sure of, your own natural reaction to a situation. Saved my life a few times too.

Would you rather be a little smarter or a little sexier?

Yikes, that’s a hard one. I think one equates to the other really. I mean being smart is sexy, you know, and being sexy is a smart thing in this day and age. Gets you where you need to go in most cases. So I don’t think it’s an actual choice really. Not to mention both are easy to improve on, as long as you have the drive to do it.


I'd like to thank Stella for taking the time to talk with me. Please visit her and her sister at their website or visit their writer's blog or the one dedicated to Eververse.


Tuesday, October 03, 2006

L is for Loser

I recently entered a contest Ben and Jerry's had to create a new flavor for them. I really don't remember what my flavor was, but when I see what made the finals, I can see why I didn't win! Oh well, maybe I can console myself by eating these flavors if they get produced.

Italian Renaissance: amaretto liqueur ice cream, cherry chunks and sliced almonds. I am SO into this flavor. Love amaretto, cherries, and almonds! And it's Italian Ren? PLEASE! I love all things Italian.

Mojito: a lime-based sherbet with mint, brown sugar and rum added in. Well, heck, I didn't even think about liquor as an ingredient when I thought up my flavor (whatever the heck it was.)

Wackie Chan: sweet cream and ginger-flavored ice cream, with chocolate-covered fortune cookie bits and fudge swirl. I'm kicking myself that as a Chinese person I didn't think of this one. The name stillcracks me up.

Puttin' on a Ritz: vanilla ice cream, caramel and Ritz crackers.
ApricotAbra: a mix of apricot chunks, dark chocolate, vanilla ice cream and tart apricot preserves. I probably wouldn't buy this, but the idea is clever.

So, what's your favorite Ben and Jerry's (or any ice cream!) flavor? Mine's Cherry Garcia.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Pasta with Tuna and Olive Vinaigrette

I made this on Saturday. My kids thought it smelled so bad they asked if they could burn incense. My cleaning lady, however, loved it. It's from Real Simple Magazine.

12 ounces regular or whole-wheat rigatoni or penne
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tablespoon capers, rinsed, drained, and chopped
1/2 cup kalamata olives, pitted and roughly chopped
1/2 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 6-ounce cans tuna, drained

Cook the pasta according to the package directions.

Meanwhile, heat 3 tablespoons of the oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add the garlic and cook until softened, about 2 minutes. Add the capers and olives and cook for 3 minutes. Stir in the parsley and cook until wilted, about 1 minute. Remove from heat. Add the lemon juice, pepper, and the remaining oil. Drain the pasta, rinse under cold water, and divide among individual bowls. Top with the tuna and olive vinaigrette.

Tip: Consider splurging on a can of Italian olive oil-packed tuna for this recipe, or any other dish that calls for tuna. Its robust flavor makes everyday meals extraordinary.

Yield: Makes 4 servings

CALORIES 648(47% from fat); FAT 34g (sat 4g); SUGAR 0g; PROTEIN 35g; CHOLESTEROL 0mg; SODIUM 585mg; FIBER 9g; CARBOHYDRATE 55g