Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Christmas interview! (And giveaway.)

The lovely Inge and Karolina over at Bookshelf Reflections have done a Christmas-themed interview with me! I also answered a few questions for the Grinch. There are also copies of my books to be had by entering the giveaway. Enjoy!

Monday, November 10, 2014

Cover Reveal: DECADENCE by Nenia Campbell

“I bet they told you at orientation that Ashgrove wasn't like your old school.”

Rachael Williams is the only black student at the exclusive private school, Ashgrove Heights. Through hard work and sheer luck she's managed to crawl out of the lowest moment of her life. At orientation, she meets a girl who has been driven out through vicious, violent bullying, who warns her to keep her head down: the students aren't what they seem.

Andrew Worth is broken inside. He's considered suicide, but he'd rather stick around and make everyone else feel miserable. His grades are falling, he does every drug that's bottled and sold, and everyone's terrified of what he'll do next.

Daphne Kim is the school's golden girl. When someone fucks with her, she fucks back--harder and better. Her boyfriend knows that better than anyone. She's the only one who can stop Andrew from his downward spiral, but she's having too much fun watching.

When Andrew's father hires Rachael to tutor his son after she's announced as valedictorian, Rachael gets mixed up in the popular kids' Machiavellian hierarchy of sex, power, and scandal. It's a dangerous game, but if she doesn't play they'll eat her alive.

Add DECADENCE on Goodreads.

Find out more about Nenia and her other books!

Friday, October 10, 2014

Giveaway madness!

I made a giveaway for my third novel, Dreams for the Dead, on Booklikes. It goes until early Monday morning (like, six a.m. Pacific Time). There are 10 e-copies available.

(Okay, this isn't exactly madness. But still, it's exciting.)

Since I've never done a giveaway before, this is kind of an experiment for me. My fingers are crossed. For some reason I was afraid of overwhelming myself. I don't know.

Here's the book summary:
Dawn Larkin never expects that an ordinary night out a bar with her best friend will end in a kidnapping. A man steals Leila away right before her eyes, and Dawn is powerless to stop him. 

Though Dawn returns home that night unscathed, it isn’t long before the people who took Leila come back for her. In a house of strange, evil occupants, she becomes the captive of a mysterious man named Tristan. He’s dangerous, and he isn’t just a man—he’s a vampire. 

After each day spent with him, Dawn finds her heart in an ever more precarious position. With constant threats from his wicked vampire family, it becomes increasingly difficult to ensure her safety … and her sanity. Soon Dawn realizes that even if she escapes, she will never be free …
Check it out!

You can also add Dreams for the Dead on Goodreads.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Free short story.

My short story Vampire City is now available on Smashwords ... for free! Yes, you could read it here on my blog, but it's much easier to read a file on your chosen device, isn't it? The story is available in multiple formats, plus it now has a pretty cover!


Once you've downloaded Vampire City (because really, why wouldn't you?) you can add it on Goodreads!

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, August 31, 2014

An update.

I'm working on two books right now. One is called The Messenger (working title for now), and it's an NA romance set in a future where women's rights have regressed. The other is YA, because the main character is sixteen, and a dystopia, because the world sucks, but I'm not sure it fits neatly into those categories. Some pretty bad stuff happens to the heroine so it might not be suitable for YA, and she also doesn't do anything to make the world a better place, like all dystopia heroines seem to do. So I don't know. It has a title too, but I'm worried it might be spoilery, so unless I change my mind about it, I'll keep it to myself for now.

Anyway, I hadn't been able to make the YA work at ALL, so I stopped working on it for a while. Then last night I had a dream (kind of a scary one) that inspired me. I hope it's the breakthrough I need. Here's the new opening I came up with thanks to freaky parts of my mind that don't often see the light of day:

When I was thirteen, my brother sold me to a man. It was just the two of us. We needed the money.
After a week I returned home with cuts all over my aching body, and we never spoke of that time.
For three years the memories haunted me, vague and disturbing. I could never tell what was real and what my subconscious had created in dreams. I might have seen living corpses, ambling around in tattered clothes. There might have been faces coming up out of the dirt. A snake slithering through the wet, black earth. And one man orchestrating some sick experiment, his voice low and soothing, like honey.
I thought it a mercy I couldn’t remember that man’s face.

Good? Bad? Intriguing? Thoughts and opinions are welcome and appreciated!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Hey! My books are free right now!

I enrolled my books in the Smashwords promotion happening right now, so you can get all three of my books for FREE! Just follow the links below and enter the code SW100 at checkout. The offer is good until July 31st.

Happy reading!

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Author Interview ... of ME!

So, I was recently interviewed by the lovely Nenia Campbell, indie author and reviewer extraordinaire.

I think I'm bad at interviews. Like this one time I interviewed at Starbucks and I literally answered a question with "I don't know." While shrugging and grinning sheepishly, of course. But somehow they still called me back for a second interview. They must have been desperate for workers.

ANYWAY, even though I'm really weird about answering questions, you should still check my super amazing interview out. You can read it and other awesome interviews (and reviews) on Nenia's blog, The Armchair Librarian.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Dreams for the Dead soundtrack.

Yeah, I call them soundtracks instead of playlists. My books are movies in my head. This one is pretty awesome.

"Waiting for the Sun" - Powderfinger
"Black Metallic" - Catherine Wheel
"The Horror" - RJD2
"The Oscillator" - Thievery Corporation
"Painted On My Heart" - The Cult
"Voodoo Games" - Daughter Darling
"Everloving" - Moby
"Tongue Tied" - My Vitriol
"Over" - Portishead
"Queen of the Damned" - Theatre des Vampires
"Rush" - People In Planes
"Temptation" - VAST
"Anything" - Black Lab
"Sanctified" - Nine Inch Nails
"Velvet" - The Big Pink
"My My My" - The Priests
"Wind the Clock Slowly" - The Wipers
"Adoration" - The Cranes
"Alsatian" - White Rose Movement

Book links:
Barnes & Noble

Dreams for the Dead is free on B&N and Smashwords right now. If you have a kindle, the .mobi format is available on Smashwords.

Happy reading!

Monday, May 26, 2014

Excerpt - Dreams for the Dead

Here's a brief excerpt from my newest book.

Slowly, so slowly she didn’t even notice him moving at all, he closed the space between them and lifted a hand, reaching for her. She watched him with wide eyes, frozen by some dark spell. He is going to touch my cheek. He is going to lean in to kiss me. She held her breath, dreading and eagerly awaiting. 
He plucked something out of her hair and held it between his first two fingers. A tiny oleander flower. He looked at it without moving his head, then back at her. “You know this is poisonous?” 
“Well,” he said in a low, confiding tone, “so am I.” 
“What’s that supposed to mean?” 
In answer, he crushed the already wilting flower between his fingers. Then he put it on his tongue and swallowed it.


Find Dreams for the Dead on AmazonBarnes & Noble, or Smashwords. You can also read it with a Scribd subscription. Helpful tip: it's only $0.99 on Amazon, but on B&N and Smashwords (where it's available in multiple formats), it's FREE!

Monday, May 12, 2014


This past weekend, my husband and I went to Palm Springs overnight for a wedding. Of course, I immediately started plotting when I would have time to go to a used bookstore, because shopping for secondhand books in another state—on the way to a wedding, no less—just sounded like a lot of fun.

"Take the back way!" everyone told us. (The back way goes along random roads and Twentynine Palms Highway, rather than on the 15 through Barstow.) People we knew advised this separately, without consulting each other, and so we were like, all right. Going off the beaten track is fun, it's what we do. (At the reception, a couple of friends informed us they had been told specifically not to take the back way. Huh.)

The back way was interesting. For a long time it was the kind of drive where we said things like "Slight right? That wasn't a slight right. It was straight!" "God, I hope this is the right way. We won't know for another twenty miles, because that's when we should run into another street sign." "I deduced this was the right way because that guy in the car back there was looking at a map, so he must have been lost on that other road." Right.

Miraculously, though, we didn't get lost (that happened in Palm Springs, after the reception, at night, in a place with no streetlights, driving in an unfamiliar car).

Cruising through Twentynine Palms, I was keeping an eye out left and right for interesting stores that I would return to on some other trip to thrift. There seemed to be several. Then I saw this:

We didn't have time to stop there on the way, so I vowed to take the back way home, though it meant braving rutted two-lane roads and possible wrong turns, and more than 100 miles of no services, AND in and out phone reception. I had a list of books and authors I couldn't find in the library, and I was going to seriously PERUSE.

So, on the way home, we stopped here. I left my husband in the car with the windows rolled down so he could catch some extra sleep. He'd partied pretty hard at the reception. "Don't worry about me, I'll be fine," he said. "Don't let anyone steal you," I said (he always says that to me when I wait in the car at gas stations). And then I went in to find books.

Immediately, I found a copy of The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle, which I've been meaning to read. Then I turned the corner and found the SF section.

This place was filled to the brim with more books than I've ever seen in another used bookstore. Obviously, this is the kind of place where you have to search behind the front row, and carefully, or else a bunch of books might fall on your head. And possibly some shelves might collapse.

I found some Tanith Lee novels, including Electric Forest, one I'd been searching for specifically. There was SO MUCH SF. Look at those pictures. Holy crap.

The store went on pretty much forever. (I heard a cat meowing from upstairs or somewhere. It sounded like a Siamese.)

Way in the back there were a lot of historical, language, war, and other types of books it's doubtful anyone will ever buy. Those poor books. I can't help but feel sorry for them. There was modern stuff too, of course: Twilight books, Harry Potter, Stephen King, Dean Koontz. And other stuff. So much. LOOKS AT THOSE SHELVES. They are stuffed literally to the ceiling.

Here was my final haul:

(Sorry for the crappy quality. I took it on my phone at home.) (The top book I actually got at Keep On Bookin in Palm Springs.)

My husband woke up and stood by patiently while I took pictures of the store. And then it was bye bye, books. Hello, desert.

This was pretty much the view the entire time. Also this, just because:

I saw two more bookstores to check out whenever I decide to take an impromptu trip to the High Desert/Low Desert (I'm not sure where one begins and the other ends). Four hours along sketchy back roads just to browse used books? Totally worth it to me. But I might drop in on a music store or secondhand clothing store just to get more out of my mileage.

Monday, May 5, 2014

DREAMS FOR THE DEAD now available!

My third novel is a horror/romance with vampires. Because vampires rock my world.

A young woman who witnesses the kidnapping of her best friend becomes involved with a mysterious vampire and his evil family.

Ooohh ... mysterious.

You can get Dreams for the Dead on Amazon or Smashwords. It's only $0.99! The book's page on my blog can be viewed here.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Review - Barrett's Hill, Anne Stuart

3.5 stars.

I always want to enjoy gothic romances, and I never do. I think the problem is usually the heroine, who is pretty much always an idiot. She's prone to hysteria, she's not too bright, and she's annoyingly "pure," which is basically her strongest character trait.

This book wasn't as gothic as I thought it was going to be, but I really liked Miranda, the heroine in Barrett's Hill. The story was told in first person and her personality came through quite clearly. She had a lot of funny lines/musings:

"Stop!" he commanded, horrified to the tips of his Christian toes.

My one consolation was that Fathimore was allowed to preach only once a month—any more and I would have become an atheist.

"[They] all were ... with her that weekend. It was Adam's idea."
"At the same time?" I laughed. "Now that 

It was my firm belief, based on no knowledge whatsoever, that murderers were late risers.

However, Miranda is also prone to hysteria and stupid decisions at times. At one point Adam, the hero, gets her up to his hotel room and they kiss passionately. Then he pushes her away, telling her he didn't bring her up there for kissing/other stuff. In reaction, Miranda damns him four times and runs from the room. Like, how DARE you not ravish me! This isn't the only time she runs away from him in a fit of emotion, but it was the strangest.

She also has the occasional WTF train of thought:

If I had to be raped and murdered by any of those four I'd rather have Adam, but of course, that was hardly much of a recommendation.

Hmm, right.

Miranda is very inconsistent in her feelings for Adam. In her mind, he's a suspect in the murder of a prostitute that happened twenty years earlier. (Adam likes whores. For some reason, this makes me like him more.) I'm not sure why, but Miranda is completely OBSESSED with this murder that happened before she was ever born. She jumps to conclusions about it practically every page. She constantly alternates between thinking Adam is the murderer and denying he could be, and she frequently goes off alone with him, and kisses him. Adam is a lot lighter than many of Anne Stuart's heroes, though.

Four people were involved in the murder: Adam, Miranda's uncle, her uncle's assistant, and Miranda's father (who is dead now). The involvement of the first three are more or less explained by the end, but Miranda's father is completely ignored or forgotten.

The contrast between Miranda and other women in the book is about what you'd expect, though you're not bashed over the head with comparisons. She is the good one, and all other women are basically whores (some actually are whores—or "fancy-ladies"—but still). Although the dynamic between Miranda and her younger cousin Maxine starts off fun, it later becomes pretty antagonistic as they both vie for Adam's attention. Miranda disparages Maxine for her flightiness, her choice of clothing, and for liking men a little too much. She also looks down on Roxie, a "fallen woman," for trying to look younger than her years (and Roxie is actually younger than Adam). Miranda's dead mother isn't exempt from this attitude, since she ran off with another man and left Miranda alone with her jerk of a father.


Although something like this isn't exactly unusual in a gothic romance, I find it a little weird that Adam had a crush on Miranda's mother. Adam was ten years younger than the mother (and if my math is correct, he's eighteen years older than Miranda), but the two women look alike. Miranda also looks like the murdered prostitute. Just ... a little icky.


Thankfully, there are some beautiful passages here and there:

We had eight inches of snow that night—a new record. When I awoke the next morning and saw the white hillside I started crying. I am not at all sentimental, but every now and then beauty creeps up on me unexpectedly and lays waste to my emotions.

And unintentionally funny ones:

"... Along with the trusteeship of all that money you have the care of someone my dear father variously called a termagent, a shrew, a feminist, and a creature worse than her mother..."

"Did you hear that?" he demanded of Fathimore, his face mottled with rage. "A feminist! In my house! ..."

The writing is rough, as Stuart mentions in the introductory letter, but I think that made the book all the more enjoyable. It wasn't as staid as some of her later work. The characters were more lively. Strangely, this struck me as one of her more feminist novels. I mean, that's not saying much, but it's something.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Third novel, coming soon ...

I meant to write a YA dystopia for my third novel, but that one got temporarily set aside while I worked on an adult horror/romance with vampires. I've finished the first draft of the vampire book and will begin editing/rewriting as soon as I'm done with this post! It's called Lurid, and I've had it FOREVER. I'm so happy I finally got around to writing an ending. I also astonished myself with some of the sex and violence I added to it this time around, so, yeah ... Breaking personal boundaries with this one.

This is the cover:

I quite like it. It's totally my style. However, I would love opinions and critiques. And beta readers, if anyone wants to get really helpful. (Don't worry. I'm a big girl when it comes to criticism. If there's one thing art school teaches you, it's how to gracefully take it when someone rips your work a new one.)

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Read an E-book Week

I'm not sure why this image is so grainy ...

I'm participating in E-book Week at Smashwords. A Dark-Adapted Eye and Unchanged will be half off March 2-8. Just enter the code REW50 at checkout and enjoy!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

My next book . . .

After the death of her brother, teenage Marlo flees an abusive home and comes to work for an enigmatic mortician.

And that's where the fun begins. Well, not fun, exactly. It's kind of bleak. But sometimes I like bleak.

This is turning out to be a really hard book to write. Maybe because it hasn't been with me for years and years like some of my other stories, so I haven't had as much time to work through problems. I never realized how hard world-building is without info-dumping. That's the most challenging thing, actually—the world-building.

The book is set in the indeterminate future blighted by drought. Recycling is a necessity. Various environmental problems interfere with people having enough food and water, of which there's already a scarcity. But Marlo isn't out to solve these problems. She's got enough to deal with without taking on the government.

Anyway, now that I've thrown that out there . . . back to writing!

Thursday, January 9, 2014


I've had a good day. I read some new short but nice reviews for A Dark-Adapted Eye (yes, I know you're not supposed to do that) that really uplifted my spirits. I also crossed over to the dark side and joined Twitter. I've added a widget in the sidebar if you want to follow me (although I haven't tweeted anything yet).

Have a great day!