Monday, December 31, 2012

So You THINK You Want to Know What the Forefathers Would've Said???

I think it's safe to say that we're all just a tad weary of hearing the political commentators rip each other's throats out regarding things like gun control and fiscal responsibility. What caught my attention the other night though, was a buxom redhead screeching at the top of her lungs that the founding fathers would NEVER have condoned the use of automatic weapons. They would have NEVER approved this, or they would have NEVER... Of course she was cut off by someone else and then the "discussion" dissolved into a yelling match where nobody could understand anything anyone else was saying anyway.

Of course what stuck with me was the moaning and groaning this woman was doing about wishing she could get advice from the great minds that shaped our Constitution... Really? Let me ask you again, are you SURE?

I don't think it takes a seance or any kind of time machine to get a pretty accurate picture of what our founding fathers would have said about current events today IF you were foolish enough to ask them. First of all, men like Washington, Jefferson, and Franklin would have been incensed at the idea of a woman voicing her opinion on a political topic. So I'm guessing their first reponse would have been "SHUT UP!"

Another thing, these guys were white, land owning males. They would have told the female commentator to shut up only long enough for them to process the notion that the American public had elected a black man to the office of the President. Once they managed to wrap their minds around that, they would have gone out and bought up as many automatic weapons as they could lay their hands on.

These guys LOVED weapons. They would have been THRILLED at the idea of owning something that could lay waste to their opponents. We're talking about guys who had just come through a bloody war for independence from the British crown. They had seen horrendous carnage on battlefields where soldiers suffered from conditions that our modern minds cannot possibly comprehend. You might make a brief argument that the great minds who formed the Constitution were tired of war and wanted to lay down their arms and value life, but you'd probably be wrong. These were the same guys that came up with the Second Amendment. The right to bear arms. What does this mean exactly?

Our forefathers knew that an armed populace is an empowered one. They wanted the right to own weapons so that they could stand up to tyranny if it took root in their government once again. These men might have been tired of bloody fighting. But you can be damn sure they considered owning the biggest stick the best form of war prevention.

Now, before you go burning my books in effigy--My point is simply this...

We cannot look back and whine and moan about what our founding fathers, or what the writers of the Constitution might have thought because even if it were possible to ask them you'd never get the answer you wanted. They TOLD us what they thought. They valued men. Specifically white, land owning men. They wanted guns. They wanted their privacy. They wanted the right to practice their own religion. (Which started out with a mostly puritanical framework) They wanted to say whatever they wanted about whoever they wanted to. And really, they hated the concept of a federal government anyway. Doesn't anyone remember what a high value they placed on State's Rights?

More so, we shouldn't WANT to go ask them what they think. What matters is that WE remember where we came from, and that we've evolved, and what that evolution has cost us. Technology has given us incredible luxuries, power, and the fearful responsibilities that go along with it. But sometimes we must take our priviledged heads out of our priviledged asses and remember that giving away the freedoms guaranteed by that musty old document is NEVER a wise thing to do. Governments are a lot like teenagers. Give them an inch, and they'll not only take a mile, they'll use that first inch to tie you up and leave you in the dust. It is up to the people, not the feds, and certainly not the media machine--to determine what is right for our nation.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

The Best Stocking Stuffer EVER!

Looking for something in YOUR stocking? How about a holiday romance that is a promising first installment of a great new series?

As always, I LOVE to hear from my readers. This book is a slight deviation from my norm, which is always just a little scary. Still, I can't wait to hear what everyone thinks of my new fave family...the McKinlochs.

About the book
Genre: Contemporary; Holidays
Length: Novella
Series: Clan McKinloch

Everything has gone downhill for Ashton since the hot summer night she spent with a military man she hardly knew. Her career is in a shambles, her dreams of traveling abroad are impossible, and her love life is in the toilet. Worse, one of her coworkers has decided she’s the perfect girl for him. Too bad her heart is fixed on the guy she kissed beneath the fireworks on the Fourth of July.

Trip McKinloch has never been the favorite son. McKinlochs are supposed to settle down close to home, marry, and help run the family pub. Instead, Trip joined the Air Force, has lived overseas for years, and is in love with a woman he shared one night with during his Fourth of July leave.

When Trip goes home for the holidays he is shocked to discover that the woman he cannot forget is now working as a bartender in his family’s Pub. Worse still, Trip’s brother Gavin has a hefty crush on Ashton and a grudge against Trip that could spell yuletide disaster. Now Trip has to find a way to convince everyone that the footloose McKinloch has finally found the one woman who feels just like home.

An excerpt from the book
Ravenous hordes of people crowded the vendor tents set up on the Arch grounds. Whether spurred by the introduction of Dr. Pepper and hot dogs at the 1904 World’s Fair or a citywide cultural preference, St. Louisans took their food very seriously. Tantalizing smells wafted through the sultry night air, and the boom of the first round of fireworks drowned out the cacophony of voices. What was left of the lawn had been crushed to yellow fuzz beneath the flip-flops of fairgoers. 

Ashton wished she had a clothespin for her nose. The scent of Pappy’s Smokehouse BBQ was more than her frail willpower could take. She’d been determined not to overindulge this Fourth of July. She’d gained almost five pounds eating Ted Drewes Frozen Yogurt and Gus’s Pretzels during last year’s Fair St. Louis. 

I am not hungry. I am not hungry. 

A family of four carrying waffle cones filled with melting chocolate ice cream passed her by. Ash kept striding resolutely away from the food in search of her friends. Luce and their usual crew were supposed to have grabbed the perfect vantage point on the steps overlooking the river. Her friend had texted Ash a picture of their spot near the center railing. She would have already joined them had she not needed to take a desperate trip to the porta johns set up on the other side of the Arch. 

An instrumental patriotic medley filled the air as the fireworks got underway. Ash slowed to a stop. She couldn’t resist watching the brilliant colors sparkle through the sky over the river. The rockets were shot from a fleet of six barges in the central canal of the Mississippi River below. 

The faint odor of burned gunpowder triggered memories of the sparklers, jumping jacks, and Roman candles Ash and her father had always lit off to celebrate the Fourth. She tucked a stray curl behind her ear and rubbed her sweaty palms against her denim skirt. Even dressed in a tank top with her long hair up in a ponytail, she felt grimy and overheated after a day at the fair. Luckily the coconut-scented sunscreen she constantly slathered over her pale skin to protect her “redheaded” complexion kept her smelling tolerable. 

A scuffle broke out to her left. “Hey, dickhead, watch where you’re stepping.” 

Ash attempted a hasty step backward, but she stumbled into a throng of strange men. All were on the large side with close-cropped hair. They were most likely military men from the air base across the river. The first guy grabbed the second one and shoved him in her direction. The impact sent her sprawling. 

“What’s your problem?” The guy who’d accidentally run her over didn’t seem concerned that she was collateral damage. He was too distracted by whoever had pushed him. 

The ground was hard beneath Ash’s rump. She tried to scramble to her feet, but someone stomped her hand. “Ow!” The blow brought tears to her eyes. 

“Stand down, Airman.” A commanding baritone sliced through the fracas. “You’re trampling this poor lady to death. If you can’t behave, I’ll ship your ass back to the base before curfew. Is that clear?” 

“Yessir. Crystal clear, sir.” 

A hand reached down and plucked Ash off the ground. It was warm and firm with a gentle grip that promised the owner knew how to handle a woman. Her nerves sang from her fingers all the way to her toes. She felt like a schoolgirl who’d just discovered the difference between girls and boys. 

“Are you all right?” The impromptu rescuer led her a slight distance from the crowd of airmen. “Some of us military types forget that not everyone is trying to stab us in the back.” 

“I’m fine, really.” Ash stared up at the tall, broad-shouldered man in khaki cargo shorts and a plain gray T-shirt. It was too dim on the lawn to see what color his eyes were, although his short hair was dark. Was it possible to tell by someone’s aura whether or not they were hot? Because this guy’s aura was screaming gorgeous. 

Gorgeous, provocative, seductive, alluring--how many other words can I come up with for yummy? 

“Are you out here by yourself, ma’am?” He hadn’t let go of her hand and was now scanning the people milling about as if he was determined to find somewhere to put her. 

She had to swallow a few times before her voice would work. “I’m meeting my friends by the steps.” 

“Your boyfriend shouldn’t let you walk around the fair alone, ma’am. It’s dark, and there are a thousand lowlifes skulking around out here.” 

“I don’t have a boyfriend at the moment.” Ash couldn’t help it. She laughed. “And skulking lowlifes? Really?” 

“Sorry, was that a little too dramatic?” Even in the reflected light of the fireworks, she could see the smile on his face. His features were bold, especially his strong jawline. “My name is Trip, by the way.” 

“Well that’s ironic.” She wondered who’d given him the nickname and why. Surely that wasn’t his real name. “I’m Ashton.” 

“Nice to meet you, Ashton.” 

He brought her fingers up to his lips in a gesture that made the bottom drop out of her stomach. The delicate sensation of his lips brushing over her skin sent tendrils of warmth licking silkily over her entire body. She’d never been attracted to someone like this. Never. 

He kept hold of her fingers as if reluctant to let go. “Can I walk you over to find your friends?” 

He smelled good. In an aromatic world of spicy food and flocks of people, how could she possibly pick out his scent? Oh, but she had. It was amazing. Sandalwood, mint, and something utterly male, it had lingered below her radar until she tried to grab a breath in order to speak. 

Trip had asked her something, and she still hadn’t answered. He was going to think she was an idiot. Forcing her brain to function, she hoped she wouldn’t come off sounding too eager. “You’re more than welcome to come with me. My friend Luce promised she grabbed a great spot to watch from. You can join us if you’d like.” 

The offer had seemed like a good one, in theory. Ashton’s heart sank when she realized she was taking this hot specimen of manliness to meet a hot specimen of femininity. Once Trip met Luce, he’d instantly forget Ash. 

Trip set a leisurely pace, heading down the hill and away from the thickest of the crowd that littered the lawn with blankets and picnic baskets. “Are you from around here, Ashton?” 

“I live in Soulard.” Ash paused when he did to watch a particularly bright flash of blue explode into burning white stars that sprinkled the sky. 

In the light of the explosion, she could see his teeth flash in a smile. “So practically right down the street then.” 

“What about you? You bossed those testosterone-loaded partiers like a pro. So I’m assuming you’re military something or another.” Ash wondered if it would be better or worse for him to be from St. Louis, stationed nearby, or just passing through. 

He chuckled, reaching up and rubbing a hand across his short hair. “Funny how that works, actually. I’m not even stationed over at the base, and I don’t have a clue who those guys were.” 

“And they listened to you anyway? That’s sort of bizarre.” Ash could have launched into an entire conversation about preconditioned responses, but she refrained. There was no need to make this guy think she was some kind of freak. 

“Honestly, they’re conditioned to follow orders. I’m an air force captain, so I’m conditioned to give orders.” He shrugged. “Its just habit.” 

Ash couldn’t hide her fascination. “So basically the training you guys receive makes it possible for anyone with authority to assume command. That way, if there’s an emergency, you don’t have to go through all that proving crap just to give a few basic orders and get something done quick.” 

He gave her a strange look. He probably thought she was a total geek. Ash sighed. Why did guys always want some giggling, vapid beauty queen who said her fondest wish for humanity was “whirled peas”? 

“Are you in psychology or something?” Trip asked. 

Here it was. The inevitable brush-off. “Actually, I’m an office manager for a dentist. People are really interesting to me. Sorry. I didn’t mean to talk your ear off.” 

“No, I like it,” he said. 

Something undeniably sad touched his face. Ash wished she could see more clearly, but the erratic flashes from the overhead fireworks weren’t enough to see detail. He seemed almost wistful. 

Trip lifted her hand to his lips and kissed her knuckles. “It’s been a long time since I’ve had a real two-sided conversation about something other than ordnance, who’s sleeping with whom, or why so-and-so didn’t do what he or she said they would.” 

Ashton’s insides clenched at the contact. Who was this guy, and how had she managed to find him in the madness of Fair St. Louis? She tried to find something she could say that would encourage him to keep talking without making her sound pushy. “That sounds as if it might get tedious after a while.” 

“It is. I’m home on leave from Afghanistan. My air force unit has been deployed for the last nineteen months.” He gazed at the sky, the vivid display of rockets reflected off the metallic Arch. “I’ve only been home ten days, but I leave again tomorrow.” 

Ash forgot her petty war against calories and fretting about being less attractive than Luce. This nice guy was about to leave for an uncertain world Ash could not possibly imagine. Compared to his, her problems didn’t even register on the scale. 

He glanced back down, and one corner of his mouth lifted in a wry smile. “I’m sorry. It doesn’t do any good to be a big wet blanket. I’ve had a great time while I’ve been on leave, and that’s what matters.” 

“What have you done for ten days?” Ash was determined to be upbeat and positive. “What do airmen do when they’re on vacation?” 

She couldn’t miss the pure mischief on his face. Not even in the near dark. “Depends on the airman.” 

“What have you done?” 

“I spent a lot of time with my family.” He wandered a little farther across the grounds. She could see the outline of the steps crowded with fairgoers. 

It wouldn’t be long, and their oddly private walk would be over. Ash was sad at the prospect. “Was there a woman waiting to spend time with you while you were home?” 

“Nope. I’m single.” He stopped and turned to face her. “That’s what you were getting at, right?” 

She could’ve happily sunk right into the hillside. Instead, she scrambled for a pithy comeback. “I was, actually. Kind of like when you asked why my boyfriend let me wander around the fair by myself.” 

“Guilty as charged.” His gaze felt like a physical caress. “Can’t slip anything past you, can I?” 

“I hope not.” 

He paused, and she could feel his gaze lingering over every inch of her. “Your hair is really beautiful.” 

Her breath stuck in her throat as he twirled a stray curl around his index finger. Nobody ever called her hair beautiful. It had to be the funky light. Her hair was six shades of red. Not auburn, not cinnamon, just plain in-your-face red. Worse, it was curly. She’d been Little Orphan Annie every Halloween for ten years because it was the only costume her poor dad could come up with. 

“Can I kiss you, Ashton?” Trip took her other hand. “I’m being pushier than I normally would be, but I’m leaving tomorrow. You’ a way I didn’t think existed. Everything lately has been so heavy.” He stopped talking as if he didn’t want to think about the overwhelming portions of his life. Seconds later, his face eased into a warm smile. “You make me think life hasn’t really gone to hell. I’d like to have that memory to take with me when I go back.” 

Oh. My. God. 

“You want to remember me?” She was melting inside, and it had nothing to do with the hot, muggy air. 

“God, yes.” He drew her arms upward until her hands were locked around his neck and she was stretched full length against his hard body. “In fact, I’d like to have a lot more to remember. But a kiss is a good start, and I’ll take whatever you’re comfortable giving.” 

She squeaked when his mouth descended to hers. It was like sinking into velvet. He tasted spicy and male, like his scent, only better. He kissed like a master, something that should’ve scared her but didn’t. Somehow the shadowy specters of his past lovers didn’t matter any more than her lack of experience. 

His tongue slid along the seam of her lips, begging entrance. She opened, and he pushed inside her mouth. He didn’t dominate. He coaxed, drawing her deeper. She moved against him, eagerly taking what he gave before sliding her tongue into his mouth in return. 

It was hot and carnal, the raw sensation of two people exploring the scent and taste of each other. The kiss left her squirming with an ache between her legs. She arched up on tiptoes and felt a bulge between them. Instead of making her back off, it excited her. She’d never felt so wanted, so powerful and feminine all at once. It was heady, and she wanted more. 

He finally broke away, his breath ragged. “I think I need to stop before I can’t.” 

“Don’t.” She nipped his lower lip. “Stop, I mean. You said you wanted more. I want to give it to you.” 

Trip groaned and pressed his forehead against hers. “Darlin’, don’t say things like that. I’m leaving tomorrow, and I might never come back. You’re not the kind of girl who goes around having one-night stands. I can tell that from one kiss.” 

“You’re right, normally, but even if I never see you again--I won’t regret this.” She looked up at a purple-and-red burst of shooting stars. How could it be wrong when it felt so right? “I think this is probably the most romantic moment of my whole life. Why stop now?”

Copyright © Kaitlin Maitland

Buy This Book

Monday, September 17, 2012

Fast Fall Freefall

You're probably thinking- "Wow! With a title like that, this post is sure to be something totally awesome." Uh, not to burst your bubble, but I'm just a big fan of aliteration. Seriously, Fast Fall Freefall. Say it five times fast. I dare you.

However, that doesn't mean this post won't be awesome. It is. I think. Although I'm making it up as I go so I've got no idea WHAT it's going to be... Oh wait! I've got it! Let's talk about something that really counts as we step into fall and realize that wham! the holidays are right around the effing corner.

Mental health. Everyone's fave topic.

Really though, I'm not kidding. How many of us get into fall and start feeling stressed out? Stress doesn't have to be classic either. You don't need to be one of those whiners who moans and groans and pops Xanax. Sometimes stress sufferers are quiet. They plug along in the background until they just drop from exhaustion. That's not a good thing people!

Stress causes all kinds of icky health problems. So don't let yourself be overwhelmed. Take a step back and recognize those signs that you maybe need a day to yourself. You know what they are. We all feel it creeping up. Maybe you snap at people when they ask you something mundane. Maybe you're having trouble sleeping because your mind is racing around trying to anticipate every little aspect of the day to come. Maybe you're ready to crawl into a corner, curl into the fetal position and just hide until global warming finishes up and we all turn into toast points. Whatever!

So here's a quick tip- its OKAY to call in sick or take a personal day and just lay in bed. I'm not joking here. If you find yourself on the brink, DO it! Don't wait for the men in white. Crawl back into bed after the kids go to school, or your significant other leaves, or whatever, just crawl back in bed and watch soap operas, or Oprah, or play video games if that's what you love. Hell, spend the day doing Farmville or one of those bubble popping games. (Of course you might want to hide your new high scores from your work friends if you're playing hooky) Point is, take that day and use it to recharge your mental batteries. We need that time to literally do nothing important. That helps to reset the brain, the emotional state, and even the heart in some cases.

Now, once you get reset? Then its time to build some decompression time into your daily or weekly schedule. You need to discover what works for you and utilize it. Don't give me that "I don't have time." crap either. You either make time or you go nuts, pull your hair out, and have a heart attack. It's that simple. Spending some quality time with yourself, doing something that you love, that's a huge part of mental health.

We don't all do the same things. Me? For those of you who know me, I'm a horse fanatic with a capital F-A-N-A-T-I-C. I don't deny myself those hours spent with Mercy. They're important to me. Even on days I don't ride, its good to go out and groom her, wash that massive tail, give her some beauty treatments, and just be silent. Nobody can share a comfortable silence like Mercy Me. I'm telling you, she's therapy GOLD!

That's not the only thing I do to protect my mental health though. It's a full time occupation, I promise. I have two kids, a few part time gigs, my writing, a husband, and grad school. I NEED to keep myself from losing my mind. It's imperative. So I'm careful about what I focus on. Sometimes I deliberately procrastinate. I know that sounds bad, but occasionally its okay to say, "Hey, I really cannot deal with this right now. So I'm going to make a date to do it tomorrow. And right now, I'm going to go sit in front of the Playstation and veg." And that is OKAY! Let the house get a little dirty, let the laundry pile up, make yourself a list of things that have to get done and prioritize. Do what really cannot be put off and then go relax for awhile. If your schedule is so tight you cannot afford to procrastinate, make it an hour, a half hour, fifteen effing minutes! Something! I'm not kidding here, whatever task you think HAS to be done? It'll get done in half the time and at double the quality if you just take a break and then get to it.

So as our fast fall freefall approaches, don't neglect yourself. Don't neglect your emotional state just to project an image of someone who has it all together. And all those people out there who seem like they DO have it together? They're pretending too, unless they've mastered the art of decompression.

Remember- you should always make time to pick up a book and read for awhile. Escape to the Extraordinary people- NOT just a catchphrase. It's a lifestyle choice. One you won't regret.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Verifiable Intelligence Is Back

Though I'm always telling people that I write more than just erotic romance novels, there really isn't that much in the way of published evidence to support that claim. So--as you might imagine--I am totally thrilled that my Romantic Suspense novel, Verifiable Intelligence, is going to be re-released with my friends at Etopia Press on August 10.

Truth be told, I LOVE this book. It was so much fun to write. There's so much action I think it could even keep an ADD sufferer busy enough to be happy. Really, I know you might think I'm just saying that, but the action is a non-stop ride from page one all the way until the ending.

It's not one of my longer novels. I think it sits at just under 50K words. But it totally lacks fluff. From the first moment you are sucked into the world of an assassin for hire named Dayne Castille. Definitely not your typical girl. She carries a really nice Sig Sauer P226 .357 in her holster and she's not afraid to blow stuff up when the situation calls for it.

In the past, I've had a lot of readers ask me if I do any kind of research when it comes to the weapons I use in my books. The answer is yes. I do. And actually, there isn't a handgun or rifle picked up by a character in this book that I don't have first hand experience with.

Dayne's sidearm is the same model I target shoot with. And while I've never participated in a car chase (Admit it- haven't you secretly wanted to try?) the truck that Dayne drives is the model that used to sit in my driveway. And Jace's Ducati? Go check out my Facebook page and you'll find me sitting on the yellow Monster.

See, I like to know firsthand what I'm talking about. Not that I'm going to get in a shootout during rush hour traffic on a motorcycle. But when I tell you that he accelerated so fast that his butt almost came off the seat and the wind made his eyes water, I want to describe the real thing.

Of course, the exception to this desire for reality might be the Dragunov. A lot of people refer to this as the Dragon Sniper. And yeah, through some really odd circumstances, I own one. I must confess to a case of the chickens though. The recoil on a weapon like that is like a mule kick to the shoulder. But I'm getting there. So you watch this nifty book trailer, and I'll try to scrape together the courage to target shoot with my rifle. (As a sidenote-when using firearms please make certain you're in a safe place with someone who knows what they're doing. I'm fortunate enough to have an ex-Military gun aficionado in my household. If you don't- please contact your local shooting range and find one. Safety first!)

Saturday, July 21, 2012

My Favorite Commercial Ever

This has got to be the greatest commercial that I've seen in a long time. The horrible thing is what makes it great though. If you haven't seen it, if I haven't done the link properly (totally possible) or if you'd rather I just explain the irony-

It's a Toyota Venza ad. I could care less about the vehicle. I suppose if you like the cargo space the thing would be great. I'm more of a full size truck girl myself, but I digress.

The ad features a woman in her twenties talking about an article she saw online that said older people are becoming anti-social. She goes on to say how she's disappointed in her parents because while they've joined Facebook they only have 19 friends.

This entire monologue is punctuated by shots of her parents mountain biking through some rough terrain with a group of other people their age. Perhaps the most disturbing part is when the daughter starts muttering about puppies and talking about how she has six hundred plus FB friends and how "THIS is living." Whew! Anyone else feel just a little nervous that there are TOO many people out there who share her world view?

How frightening is it that the younger the person the less active they are? Now, I'm a rabid equestrian. I spend enough time at the barn that I could call it a non-paying part time job. I love it. I love the outdoors, I love grooming my horse, saddling up, and going for a ride. I like loading her up in the trailer (this is why I cannot own a Toyota Venza) and driving to a National Park and then taking a nice long trail ride with friends. Or, I like to load up and go to the horse show and compete against other lunatics who share my passionate drive to aim my 1280lb horse at obstacles and ask her to jump them. (This is a rush-if you have NEVER done it, you cannot possibly imagine)

Instead of being active and excited, and in constant MOTION, which is what used to make Americans such go getters, we camp out on the couch and send each other links. We have virtual friends we never communicate with in person. We don't have real personal relationships. We have online ones. We allow the time delay to take all of the discomfort from our interactions with other people. How easy is it to never get mad at someone when you can easily avoid any topic you want and never ever have to listen to or say something you think they might not like?

So, laugh at that commercial because its funny. It is. But don't BECOME it. In fact, put down the laptop and go outside. I know its probably a million degrees out, but go look at the sky, see the sun, absorb some natural vitamins, just go BE!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Mr Nobody-The Bastard Did it All!

Anyone recognize the weirdos in this picture from their childrens' books? These are the Mr. Men. You know who you don't see there? Mr. Nobody. Why? Because he's a more recent addition to the crew. Having no concrete evidence for why this is (the series started in the UK in 1971) I would like to speculate on why Mr. Nobody didn't exist back in 1971.


It's because there was no need for Mr Nobody back in 1971. People took freakin' responsibility for the crap they did. They did not, for instance, use all of the plastic wrap in the house for some kind of weird project, throw away the container, not add it the grocery list, and then stare at their mother and say, "I don't know who did that. Nobody, I guess."

See! This is where we meet Mr. Nobody! This guy's life has to be crap! He not only takes the fall for all the bad stuff in our house, he is the ultimate scapegoat in politics, economics and religion.

Anyway, back to 1971. Or at least back to a time when average people did stupid stuff, took a step back, sighed, and said, "Yeah, that was me. I blew it. I'm sorry. It won't happen again because I've learned my lesson."

Am I delusional? Did we ever own up to our mistakes like that? I probably am. I just simply want to know, what's SO bad about making a boo boo? We all do it. Wouldn't it be awesome if we'd all just put on our big girl panties (or briefs I suppose) and just OWN it? Say yes to making mistakes because that's how we learn. And for crap's sake, when someone is trying to teach you a better way to do something, or making a suggestion, or simply offering constructive criticism, don't say- I know. Because if you DID know, you wouldn't need to learn! You'd already be doing it and we wouldn't be having this darn conversation.

In the Utopian society I wished we could live in, people would blow it all the time and instead of Mr. Nobody up there taking the fall, they'd admit they made a mistake. Then, instead of the boss, or supervisor, or co-worker, or even parent, getting mad- they'd just say, "Okay, so you won't do that again will you?" I often wonder if more people would own their mistakes if the wronged party wouldn't freak out about it. Perhaps it is the anticipation of freak out that creates the desire to blame our invisible friend. in which case this is an evil cycle and I'm out here speculating for no purpose.

Think of all the moments of cultural significant when what I like to call the Nobody Clause has been invoked. In the US we're getting closer to election time so we're hearing a lot of it. "Nobody has taken responsibility for the state of our environment." (please don't anyone get their panties in a twist over this one) "There weren't weapons of mass destruction?? Nobody told me that!"

So please, please, think before you try to deny that you've done something wrong and made a mistake. Taking responsibility requires a certain amount of courage. So if someone is trying to do the right thing and avoid invoking the nobody clause, don't chew their head off for it. Let's play nice in the sandbox and maybe, just maybe, we can make it a nicer sandbox for all involved.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

A Rant About This Thing We Call Writing

Let me start by saying- Writing is a disease. Seriously. It is. It's like a terminal illness. Honestly, when people with regular jobs devote this much time and effort we call them workaholics. We talk about how much they need to take a break and relax. Maybe they need a vacation. Right? So do writers take vacations?

How can I take a vacation when my characters will not SHUT UP? I take them with me everywhere. They are the voices inside my head. They are the snarky commentators who make me laugh at inappropriate times in inappropriate places. I see them in the people I meet at the store. I see them in magazines, on television, and most definitely in my extended family members.

THIS is why writing is a terminal illness. It's inside you. It's a state of mind, a way of being, a world view that cannot and will not be changed no matter how much you try. There is a reason people say that creative types are eccentric- we can't NOT be eccentric. We're trying to function every single day with a thousand voices chattering inside our brains. We constantly channel personalities that are not our own. We react to things in ways we would not because at that moment we are thinking that's what our heroine would probably do. And we cannot in a million years stop asking WHY.

That said- I sure as hell wouldn't want to change the way I think. I wouldn't want to be a mundane normal person who never looks at a situation and wonders why it just went down the way it did. I don't want to stop reading too far into what people say. And I certainly don't want to give up my voices. I'd miss them. How lonely would it be inside my head without the Boston Avant Garde crew throwing their party in my psyche?

See, here's the real secret. Writing makes you strong. It's an outlet, a coping mechanism, and a way to combat just about any mental malady. The same way that some people can sink into a good book as a form of escape, I can create entire worlds to escape from everyday boredom or stress. I am never alone. I never lack for opinions on the way I should proceed in an emergency. When some drastic event happens in my life, my inner child retreats behind my inner badass and lets her step forward to take charge.

So the next time you see a studious looking mouse hunched over a keyboard inside the local coffeeshop, don't you dare pity that POOR person sitting all ALONE.

A. That person is probably perfectly happy to sit there and observe the hyperactive extroverts around the room.
B. That person isn't alone. You simply can't see his or her posse. Just don't get them stirred up, there's no telling how they'll manifest on that particular day...

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Excuse me...Haven't we seen this plot before??

Standing in the grocery store line last night, I happened to glance at one of those soap opera magazines on the rack. You know the ones, smaller than the average periodical, like the TV Guide of soaps. Normally I glance over whatever tabloid seem the most sensational just to keep up on the headline news. I mean really, do we honestly have the right to judge every mom in Hollywood or gawk at what they look like in a bathing suit?

Anyway--I digress. The soap teaser that caught my eye was in the form of a question. "Who killed Stefano?" 

For those of you who have NEVER followed Days of Our Lives- Stefano is a character who first appeared on Days in 1982 and was once named the all time best villain by Soap Opera Digest. Did you catch that? 1982! 

The character Stefano DiMera has been played by three different actors over time but the first and last, Joseph Mascolo was born in 1929, started the role at 53 years old and was still going strong until this month when his character was shot...again... Now, I don't know how old the fictional character was, but Mascolo is 83. 

My point with this trip down memory lane is to point out that repetitive plots are everywhere. As a writer, I'm forever trying to come up with fresh new ideas. New characters, new stories, new angles, new everything. And still, I am inevitably influenced by what I see, hear, read, or watch in entertainment and media. 

Soap operas are a great example of this. They all recycle plots and characters. I've never been a follower myself, but my mother watched Days when I was a kid and I can remember playing with my dolls (yes, if you can imagine it- I had dolls) and listening to the evil Stefano being lost, found, shot, alive, dead, the father of numerous kids, scheming, lying, being reformed, shot again, dead but not dead, and the list goes on and on and on. He isn't the only bad guy to go through this either. That was twenty plus years ago. Given the latest plot and headline, I'm guessing not much has changed on the show. And that's okay. Because sometimes we like a little predictable unpredictability in our television shows. 

So maybe the best plots aren't the ones that are so far out there we can't relate to them. Maybe the best ones are the ones that give us a familiar base and then something new and fresh to keep us guessing. Maybe the plot doesn't change, but the reaction does because social rules now aren't what they were in the eighties. Maybe the change is in the technology or the science, or even the galaxy if you're talking sci-fi. 

Given this reasoning, it's easy to see why the vampire story fad comes in and out and then right back in. We love the familiarity of certain aspects of our cultural mythos, but we also love to see a new take on it. (Hence the Twilight Fever sweeping our teenage demographic)

So next time you pick up a book or see a trailer for an upcoming film, don't wave it off as "already done". Read and watch with an expectation of seeing a new twist on an old story. Because sometimes those are the ones that inevitably become our favorites.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

What do Heroes Look Like?

Look at the hot dude up there on his wild gray horse. I can look at him and go- "Yeah, I'd totally go out with him." I mean sure, from an equestrian perspective, his heels are in the totally wrong position which would probably mean that when his horse reared like that he'd go over backwards- flip ass over teakettle- and right over the horse's tail. And he does look a little girly in his breeches. But still. He looks heroic up there doesn't he?

Uh huh, reality check. That's Napoleon. Which means he's probably riding a freakin' Welsh Pony and not a Warmblood. So he probably only looks man sized because the horse is itty bitty. And when he gets off the pony he's reduced to actual size which was SHORT. And we all know he had a kind of short guy complex going where he was reported to be somewhat mean spirited.

On the other hand, Napoleon did win some decisive battles, gain some territory, and get the girl. So would YOU consider him a hero?

Hero is such a negligible word. We use it constantly to describe an overcomer. The protagonist of almost every film, play, and book is referred to as the hero. Regardless of whether or not they want to be thrust into a leadership role, look the part, or can even do the job- we slap the label on them and shove them into the gladitorial ring as a ritual sacrifice of sorts.

Okay, maybe that was a tad overdramatic. But still.

I think my favorite heroes will always be the ones who didn't really want the job. Or the anti-heroes who would just as soon watch the world end as save it. A great quote from a legendary anti-hero asked to save the universe was this, "You said it was all circling the drain, right?"--shrug--"It had to end sometime."

This is classic hero-speak for "I suppose I'll do something about the end of the world if there's really no one else to take care of it." But that's the kind of guy we like. Or at least the kind of guy I like. I don't want the hero who's been dreaming and training for the big mission. I want the one who's been prepared by life's ups and downs for a job he didn't want.

Some of history's greatest heroes have been like that. George Washington never wanted to be President of the United States. And according to Hollywood's upcoming summer film- Lincoln only wanted to be president in order to rid the world of Vampires. (Kidding! Although Abraham Lincoln-Vampire Hunter is a great book!)

So what about real, everyday heroes? Most of them don't look like Riddick. (Too bad, really.) They're the men & women we meet at the store, or the ones who live next door, or our cousin's neighbor's uncle's brother... They're just people who step up when no one else will. Their battles don't have to be epic. Maybe they just help you find your dog, or fix your screen door, or even your computer (I have a heroic geek at home myself).

So while I will continue to write my heroes hot, sexy, and sometimes cranky, I want all of us to see that heroes come in all shapes and sizes. The worst thing we can do is keep looking for hot and hunky when we have heroic sitting in our living room.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Sex, Violence, & Rock n Roll

If I had to pick- the band Cold would be my all time favorite. I love the way they rock a spider on all their album covers. I love the album progression from angry to insightful. There is a Cold song for every mood. And maybe the draw for me is the fact that they're considered a post grunge American rock band. And having spent a good deal of my teen years immersed in grunge culture, that's a comfortable place for me to be. Whatever the reason, Cold is my go to band for the Phoenix series.

That might surprise some of you. To think that Connor and Jessa's hot love affair was punctuated by angry guitar solos? If that's the case, you aren't thinking it through enough. Love and anger are just two breaths apart. Sex and violence seem to often go hand in hand. I don't even have to see your faces to know you're thinking to yourself- "She's lost her damn mind!" I'm not talking about beating your partner. I'm not even talking about spanking (although there's most definitely a place for that!) I'm talking about the intensity of human emotion that takes place during sex. Let's be honest- It's consuming. It sparks and ignites and burns the whole world down. It's even the reason human nature leads us to have sex with a person who has just shared an intense emotional or physical situation with us. Sex is a return to the primal side. It transcends civility and manners. It breaches etiquette and forces us out of our comfort zones. It leaves us bare and vulnerable while making us stronger. If you've never felt that- then maybe you aren't doing it right. Or- you've never been with the right partner.

So if you'd really like to take a walk inside Phoenix Rising, download Cold's Year of the Spider or 13 Ways to Bleed on Stage and let the music make you feel alive.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Impetuous - All Romance Ebooks

If you're looking for sassy humor and spicy romance, take a look at Impetuous. This is the third book in my Boston Avant Garde series and I promise you won't be disappointed. I'm really excited at how this story turned out. Not only that, but if you loved Strung Out and Crescendo, you'll enjoy some familiar faces. And don't forget to let me what you think of the new book. I want to hear all of your comments!

                                                          Impetuous - All Romance Ebooks

Friday, June 1, 2012

Phoenix Rising - Now Available to Combat the Summer Doldrums...

It is so great to see my favorite erotic romance available for sale again! Seriously, if you missed the chance to read this one the first time around, pick it up. I promise you won't be disappointed. And I suppose if you are, I'd like to know why...

What always strikes me when I reread this book, is the chemistry between the two main characters. This is one of those books that always makes me take a step back and wonder - "Did I really write that? It's pretty awesome!" Of course, it wasn't entirely me. My editor Anna Melton deserves some major props. We've been together a long time. And she's the one who pushed her sleeves back and dug into the confusing parts and really GOT what I was going for.

The bar in this book is really what a lot of readers get excited about. I've lost count of the number of people who've asked me where this place is. They all want to go hang out there. We had a running household joke that I would eventually open a bar and name it Phoenix Rising, just to make it a reality. Bars are great places to use as a backdrop for romance novels. It doesn't seem as though it would be, but they function as a place where we tend to lose our inhibitions. We let it all hang out, and that's when we discover who we really are. Whether we're experiencing the first pangs of romance , or just passing time with friends, it's a fantastic atmosphere to relax in. And there's a bar out there for every taste. Sometimes its even like stepping into another country.

So come hang out in MY bar, you never know what you'll find...

Thursday, May 31, 2012

The Time, Space & Facebook Conundrum

Oh what a tangled web we weave... of social networking! Seriously! I'd like to say, for those who might have wondered, that if my facebook page looks as though a toddler has been playing with it- it was just me bumbling my way through an afternoon of figuring out how the damn thing works. There are so many pitfalls to these stupid sites! Honestly, I know there are a LOT of authors who seem to navigate the choppy waters of the world wide web in an almost effortless way. I am so not one of them. I think I probably could be. I'm not stupid. I'm just busy. How am I supposed to leave time for writing when I get on the computer when it takes me fifteen minutes just to remember which password I need to use, and then another twenty to post or upload the necessary info. My website is hopeless out of date and I just updated it three weeks ago!

Am I the only one who feels as if the pace of life has sped up past the point of terminal velocity? Anyone remember what it was like to be a kid and feel as if the school year dragged on forever? Did you know that even kids are saying things like, "Wow that school year just flew by!"?

So I'd like to put forth a question for anyone to ponder. Since time is a literal thing, but is also governed by our perceptions, is it possible for out fast paced lives to actually speed up time? I'm starting to think that it is.

That's not all bad. I mean, hey- I'd like to pay my car off sooner right? And wouldn't it be great if I didn't really owe on my student loans until Armageddon? On the other hand, there's an awful lot of stuff I really want to do. And I find it disturbing to think that I might not get to do it all just because time sped up and passed me by.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

A Little Teaser

This might seem weird, but the final portion of my process for releasing a new book is to actually read the final product once it's available. See, the editing process continues up until the very last possible second. Once my content editor and I have hashed out all of the usual stuff, a proofreader goes through to nitpick. And let me tell you--we have some really great proof editors at Loose ID. You don't slip ANYTHING past these people! (Jill-I love you-really) So sometimes by the time the finals are formatted and I get my copies, things have shifted a little bit from how I thought they looked. It's sort of cool, really. And it proves that a book is not solely the work of an author. It's a process, and a project, that really has to be credited to a team of people. (Lemme hear a cheer for Kierstin Cherry-LOVE you!)

Anyway, that's why I always read my books within a day or two of release. Impetuous was no different. I fired up the Kindle and read it on May 22 just as (I hope) plenty of YOU did. And the following blurb was one of the things I thought turned out pretty darn well.

From Impetuous-By Kaitlin Maitland...

     Nicky the bartender deftly flipped a martini glass in his big hand before dumping Smirnoff and triple sec inside. He swirled it expertly in one hand while using the other to reach for the next ingredient. The cranberry juice seeped through the liquor, making red swirls as he stirred with a glass stick that vaguely resembled a miniature version of a certain toy she kept stashed in her nightstand.
     “Lemon or lime?”
     Desiree was suddenly too tongue-tied to respond, and she was never tongue-tied. She knew instinctively that this man could rock her world from the inside out. Her pussy had responded more viscerally to the smooth baritone of his voice than it had to her last three lovers. She was so turned on she was going to leave a wet spot on the bar stool.
     “You look like you prefer them by the book.” He looked sideways at the beach bum buying her drink and put a thin slice of lemon on the lip of her glass.
     By the book? He thought she preferred things by the book? Her cheeks grew warm, and she clenched her teeth to avoid screaming. If that were true, she wouldn’t have been in a bar called Jack’s. She’d have been prancing through the master suite of some Brookline estate, dressed in a designer negligee, trying to tempt her workaholic husband into having sex in order to procreate and raise the next generation of Boston’s elite. She’d have settled down years ago just like her mother wanted her to, just like her sister was about to do.
     “So, sweetheart, what’s your name?” Beach Bum was trying to get her attention.
     Nobody in this bar would’ve known her, but Desiree had made a conscious choice to leave her regular life behind for at least one night of fun. “You can call me Dizzy.”
     Beach Bum leaned in closer. “Baby, you can make me dizzy all night long.”
     His words suddenly struck her as practiced and hopelessly immature. He was male. He wanted to fuck. Well, dammit, so did she! Why bother with all the small talk? From the corner of her eye, she could see the bartender’s chest move as he suppressed a chuckle. Anger, helplessness, and years of repression swelled to mythic proportions inside her head. Snatching the lemon slice from her drink, she lobbed it at the bartender. The fruit bomb bounced off the big man’s bare head and plopped right into the drink he was mixing.
     Beside her, Beach Bum froze. Sliding down off the bar stool, he moved away from her toward the buddy he’d been chatting with earlier. Coward.
     “I don’t usually recycle the lemons around here, little girl.” The bartender tossed the contents of the glass into the sink.
     “And I don’t play by the book. So maybe we’ve both learned something new.”
     “Little girl, you’re so predictable it’s like reading a script.”
     The man was insufferable. “Oh, I’m predictable, but you’re the original bad boy with those rings in your ears, barbells through your nipples, and a name like Nicky.”
     He placed both hands flat on the bar and leaned over until his face was only inches from hers. His eyes were a beautiful rich brown flecked with gold. Her heart began to hammer, her breath coming quickly. He was unbelievably attractive. He was sexy. No. He was sex—sex waiting to happen. She thought of all the Beach Bums who’d ghosted in and out of her life. Starting in prep school, her mother’s list of acceptable boys had read like a who’s who of the world’s most boring dates. If any of them had packed this much charisma, she might’ve stuck with one.
     “My name is Nicolai Anastas, and I think bad man might be a better description.”

Kaitlin Maitland (2012). Boston Avant-Garde: Impetuous (Kindle Locations 126-155). Loose Id LLC. Kindle Edition.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

My Top Ten Reasons Books are Better than Movies

Thinking about this the other day and wondered if anyone else might feel the way I do. So- *cue drumroll*-

1. A good book costs between $6-$10 and can be read repeatedly. A movie sucks $10 for a ticket, $20 for popcorn/soda, and only lasts 1.5-3 hrs.

2. Books can be resold, traded, or loaned far longer than DVD or blu-ray or video (anyone still own a VCR?)

3. Icky scenes in a book are only subject to the creativity of MY imagination. Icky movie scenes make me watch someone else's twisted take on fantasy. And some things you just can't UNsee.

4. The pause feature of a book does not require me to learn fifty buttons on my stupid DVR remote which still seems to skip directly to the middle of a commercial when I try to rewind to catch missed dialog.

5. In a book, a character's accent does not mean I don't SEE what they are saying. In a movie, even the sexiest accent can leave me wondering if he really just called her booty call instead of beautiful.

6. When reading, I can get up and take my book into another room to avoid annoying noises. While watching a movie I am subject to everybody's commentary.

7. It is really simple to read the last chapter of a book just to make sure there's a HEA.

8. Thanks to ebook pubs, books offer a wider variety of material to read. With movies, Hollywood seems determined to be green- reuse/recycle.

9. While reading, I am free to imagine characters with any number of facial features or body types I find attractive. While watching a movie I am forced to see Tom Cruise age before my very eyes while playing the same role over and over again.

10. Book sequels related to each other and penned by the same author are called a series. Movie sequels are usually a cheap attempt to squeeze just a few more dollars out of the first film's few fans. "I know what you did last summer, and fall, and the spring before that, and that time during summer camp, and maybe once during Christmas break..."

Saturday, May 5, 2012

We interrupt our regularly scheduled programming...

So I don't normally do movie reviews because everybody does them, and really, there have been a LOT of sucky movies lately. That said, I took my kids to see the new Avengers movie yesterday after school and I have to say I'd recommend spending your ten plus dollars to see it.

First off, the idea that the studios have been working their way up to this film through Ironman, Ironman2, Thor & Captain America is intriguing. My kids have been making quite a study of it in the last 24 hrs. They've gone through these films tracking appearances by Shield Agents, Director Fury, Black Widow, and Hawkeye, as well as Stark's grandfather in the Captain America film. Not only that, but they've managed to pull all of those same actors together to reprise or expand their roles. That goes right along with my desire to see familiar characters pop up in novels. I like to see a familiar face or personality in a new flick. It makes you feel right at home.

Another great thing, FINALLY, Mark Ruffalo's portrayal of the conflicted Bruce Banner was fantastic. Whether its because CGI has finally come far enough for us to have a Hulk with real facial features and a personality, or it was Ruffalo's soft spoken hard edged take on the scientist who speaks so candidly about his alter ego--one of my all time favorite heroes had his day. The undeniable humor of the writing helped too. You can't help but enjoy a moment when Loki is waxing poetic about his superior intellect and Hulk picks him up and bashes him back and forth until he shuts up.

Truthfully, I'm certain no matter how much audiences enjoy it, The Avengers will earn some criticisms for a plot that could have been considered somewhat tired. But really, aren't all plots just a little tired? Films, like books, have been around for a long time. No idea is entirely new. Instead, the important thing is how a writer and a director use the chemistry and vitality of their cast and crew to mold that idea into something that just works. It isn't unlike writing a book.

I can take an idea which evolved from something else, twist it, mold it, shape it into something workable and then add layer upon layer of dialog, character, scene, setting, tone, and emotion until the end product takes my readers on a journey that leaves them with a satisfying feeling on the inside. That's what makes a great book.

So go and see the Avengers. Tell me what you think. Am I full of crap? Tell me! Or did you find it just as entertaining as I did?

Friday, May 4, 2012

When Words Fail...

Hans Christian Anderson once said, "where words fail - music speaks." We all know this to be true. Music is one of those things that fuels creativity. It is a refuge, a catalyst, and a muse, depending upon the day of the week and your mood.

With this is mind, I wanted to discuss a little bit about my Boston Avant Garde series. Unless you're blind (or I did something really wrong with my blogger dashboard) you can see the covers for two of my books from the series in the sidebar. One features a violin and the other a piano. No, its not one of those random, because it looks sexy, art decisions. The characters in all of these books have some affiliation, some attachment, something about them that involves music.

To me, music is the perfect ingredient in any romance novel. It's raw and earthy. It's arousing, and it can make even the most emotionally constipated person feel. So with that in mind, I thought I'd offer up a tidbit and give you a playlist for the newest member of the Avant Garde family. I suppose you might call it a soundtrack of sorts.

All of my books have soundtracks. Sometimes its a band or a style of music. Sometimes its a specific combination of work from several artists. For example- if you really want to experience Crescendo, pick up Once Upon a Red Moon by Secret Garden. Even if you don't particularly like classical music, it'll enhance your reading experience. And their version of Elegie is what I designed Leslie's Elegie around.

Now, for Impetuous. I'll group them by artist. The order doesn't really matter to me. The shuffle function on my iPhone is my fave thing to do. I reshuffle the playlist everyday. It just matters that these songs are running through my head as I write.

Machine Head-Darkness Within


Five Finger Deathpunch- Remember Everything
Avenged Sevenfold-Buried Alive
                                 Far from Home
Fair to Midland-Dance of the Manatee

All That Remains-The Waiting One

Apocalyptica-Not Strong Enough

Volbeat-Light a Way

Shinedown-Diamond Eyes

Valora-I Waited for You

Chevelle-Letter from a Thief

Cold-Wicked World

See, what did I tell you? All over the place. And some of these come from other "soundtracks" too. That's the best way to start a new soundtrack. Just snag a few tunes that gave me the strongest sense of the characters that carried over from the previous book, and find their complements. All of these can be picked up on iTunes, btw. And I'd love to hear your comments about my playlist.

Remember, comment today-win free ebooks on May 22!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Day maybe kind of 2.5

Ahh! One day and I've failed! Or more to the point, my internet failed--last night--when I could not sign on to save my life. Okay, so really that's just an excuse because I could have tried at any point during the day and probably managed to make the airwaves more agreeable.

Shhh, I'm going to pretend this never happened. And just move on with my topic for today--er--yesterday.

Anyone else ever had an imaginary friend? Please don't try and tell me I'm the only one! I promise I'm not still running around with my two early childhood pals, Betty & Bill. (And no, I cannot give any reason for the odd nursery rhyme names)

My point with all the reminiscing, was to say that when I'm writing something that really speaks to me, the characters become a little like imaginary friends. Both my Boston Avant Garde series and Phoenix Rising are examples of this. Its why I've grown so fond of writing series, its like hanging out with a bunch of comfortably familiar people.

I feel this way about reading too. Don't you just love to dive into a new book and meet new people while still keeping in touch with characters you've known before? Or, it's great to meet an interesting character and then finally get the 411 on their personal history and love life.

As I mentioned yesterday, Phoenix Rising is that kind of place. Connor Archuleta was a badass guy who had most of my readers almost wishing he were single. But, and if you haven't read it, I can't wait for the re release so you can--Connor's bartending friend Alex Dalesio is hot, single, and ready to charm your socks off.

Which is why I can't wait to get back to the bar and let everyone get a little more friendly with Alex. His story is going to introduce more of the downtown occupants who live their lives and run businesses in the quaint historic district where Phoenix Rising is located. For me, it was a chance to explore the neighborhood and create a little flower shop called Blooming Buds which is run by the most fascinating woman named Emory Banks. A woman who is going to change the way Alex Dalesio thinks about sex and long term attachments.

So tell me, for you--what's the best thing about a series? Do you like feeling as if you're hanging out with old friends? Does it feel satisfying when you get to find out what their stories are as each book unfolds? Or occasionally are you finding yourself outraged when something doesn't go the way your swore it should have? Funny thing about that--fictional characters are just like real people. They just don't always do what you think they're going to.

Remember- I want to hear your comments! And in 20 more days I'm going to pick some lucky smart ass to win a complete ebook set of my Boston Avant Garde series. So sound off people!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

I'm Wide Awake and Ready to Go!

I'll be the first to admit that I'm not much for consistency with this whole blogging thing. I get it. I do. But let's face it, not every thought in my head is worth sharing. And blogging about stupid pet tricks or the stuff my kids do is not my style.

However, I do have something I want to talk about. A lot. In fact I'm just bursting with excitement about it. See, I believe that every author has a favorite book in their backlist. It's something that really spoke to them. Either it was deeply personal, or a voyage of self discovery, or blah blah blah. Whatever. We just have a fave. And me? I totally have a favorite book.

My very first published work, Phoenix Rising, has always been my baby. The bar where the story is set was a place that I felt as if I really travelled to, in my head of course, but it felt as real as any fictional setting can. And I know a lot of you readers felt the same because you TOLD me you did. You guys demanded I fess up and tell you where the place really was. Alas, the bar is just a figment of my imagination, but the stories and people that occupy it are fleshed out to perfection inside Phoenix Rising.

There's something about the idea of a bar where everyone not only knows your name, but where you can really let down your hair. Anything goes. And no judgement. You can explore those same sex fantasies, or experiment with group sex, play wild and crazy drinking games, or dance on the tables like a rock star. Not only that, but Phoenix Rising is owned by the biggest, baddest, sexiest guy on the planet. Connor Archuleta. Of course, Connor's taken, very taken, as anyone who's ever read Phoenix Rising can tell you. However, our down and dirty bartender Alex Dalesio is not. At least not yet. But more about that in my next blog post.

I've been revitalized, reawakened, and I want to kick it off with a bang. So I'm working with my editor at Etopia Press to re release Phoenix Rising with a new hot cover and some extra spice that will remind my readers exactly why they pick up one of my books. So don't be surprised if you find your air conditioner unable to keep up with the heat this June when Phoenix Rising scorches its way back to your TBR pile.

In the meantime, my next book in the contemporary series Boston Avant Garde, releases with Loose ID on May 22, that's right, only 21 days until Impetuous hits the ebook shelf. You can always check the book page on my website for a teaser.

And to celebrate this awesome return to writing, I'm going to give some stuff away. That's right. Who doesn't love free stuff? I'm making a commitment to blog everyday this month. You guys feel free to check up on me, I need the accountabilibuddies. I want to hear your comments. I want to know what you want to read about, what you like, what you hate, what you thought worked and what didn't. Hit me with it all! You never know what idea I might run with. And on May 22 when I'm dying with excitement to see Impetuous go on sale, you might just be the one hand picked to get free copies of all three books in the Boston Avant Garde series.

Yeah, you heard me. In 21 days I'm going to give away copies of Strung Out, Crescendo, & Impetuous in electronic format. All you gotta do to enter, is leave me some kind of comment. Although let's be honest here, the more creative comments are going to get my attention. That's just reality, folks. So talk to me readers!